Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and gorgeous crush). It couldn’t be a more perfect setting to fall in love…
If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way…
Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?
For just once in her life, can’t Hannah have one perfect summer, free of any drama?
Calling all escapists! Prepare to be whisked away to the Spanish sun in this completely absorbing page-turner.
‘So evocative you can practically smell the paella and sangria’ Closer
Like so many others I’m a huge fan of Isabelle Broom’s, her ability to bring a location to life on the page is unlike anybody else and this, her third novel didn’t disappoint in this regard. This time taking us to Spain and the village of Mojacar. Her descriptions of the village had me there with our characters, breathing the air and walking the streets. So much so that I ended up looking it up and flicking through pictures for over an hour!
Our protagonist Hannah is researcher for a media production company and filming in Mojacar was her idea having been somewhere she visited as a teenager and always been special to her. Because of her connection her boss (and long time crush) Theo says she can go on the production trip and so the story begins.
What I found interesting about this book over Isabelle Broom’s previous books was that I didn’t feel a connection to the characters in this one. I absolutely hated Hannah, if she was somebody I knew in real life I wouldn’t have the time of day for her, if I worked with her, I’d interact with her as little as possible. I really found very little about her that was likeable. Yet despite this I couldn’t stop reading.
Hannah is one of those people who acts like the whole world is against her. She doesn’t use her brain and when people try to talk to her like an adult she behaves like a child. For a 28 year old she’s incredibly immature.
Her half-sister Nancy turns up and she doesn’t give her the time of day. It becomes clear as the reader quite quickly why Nancy is there but Hannah behaves like a ten year old throwing a tantrum. If I was her Sister I think I would have just gone home!
Tom her best friend and the cameraman within the crew is the only person who tries to tell Hannah where she’s going wrong but she doesn’t listen and he doesn’t quite have the strength of character to stand up against her. I found him quite a weak character.
Hannah meets a local called Elaine during her trip who she interviews for the film and builds a friendship with her. I had an idea how this was going to work out by the end of the book and although I was half right I was also half wrong! I had a lot of suspicions around Elaine aswell, I never fully trusted her, I’m not sure what it was about her, or if I’m just a suspicious person but I couldn’t get fully on board with the friendship.
The only character I really liked, and I’ll probably get shot down for this was Theo, he reminded me of one of my Greek friends with his no fuss attitude, the way he knows what he wants and he goes for it no questions asked. He also has a sensitive side but he’s not big on showing it and he’s very ambitious. I would actually love to read a whole book about Theo!
Overall, despite not liking most of the cast in this novel I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I kind of saw my reaction to the characters as personality clashes and I think it still takes a lot of talent to keep you riveted to the page when you’re not getting on with the characters on that page! I’m also desperate to visit Mojacar after reading about it and all those pictures I went through!
A huge thanks to Isabelle Broom and Penguin Michael Joseph for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.
Book & Buy Links
Title: Then. Now. Always.
Author: Isabelle Broom
Genre: Women’s Fiction | Chick Lit | Travel
Publisher: Penguin Michael Joseph
Publication Date: 20 April 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen