Fiction, Loved-it, NetGalley, Romance, Women's

A Heart-Warming, Yet Real Story About Found Family, Forgiving Oneself And Letting Go Of Guilt The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen by Juliet Ashton, ★★★★☆ 4 stars

I am tempted to start this review with a letter to the author. And if I did, it would go something like this:

Dear Juliet Ashton,

please write another book.
And another, and then another.
And just keep going!
Also, I know I may be pushing it here, but…
Can we have like…One every month?
Cause I need another one NOW!!!

Yours, Swooning Fan

As nice a fantasy as it would be, having a new book from one of your favorite authors each and every month, I feel like maybe that’s not going to happen.

But the reason I said it is that whenever I pick up a book by Juliet Ashton, my face just sort of turns into one of those heart-shaped eye emojis 😍, and I carry on like that throughout the whole book (with a sprinkle of laughing or crying faces too.) It’s just always such a pleasure to read.

So it’s no wonder that me and Juliet Ashton’s newest book, the Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen, hit it off right from the start.

The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen by Juliet Ashton

Check out on Goodreads
★★★★☆ 4 stars
How I read this:
free review copy through NetGalley

The main character, Sadie, runs a beauty business in a London mews with a rag­tag bunch of fellow business people working and living in the same space, forming a sort of tight-knit community. The book starts out with a new business moving in, and it’s a clinic that helps put addicts on the right track. Naturally, everyone is against it, because they don’t want ”these kinds of people” on their nice, family friendly and perfectly proper mews, thank you very much.

But it’s worse for Sadie… Because she has some tragic history when it comes to addiction. Despite that, she takes the high road and defends her new colleague. (Doesn’t hurt that it turns out he’s smokin’ hot either.)

Oh, and yeah. His name is actually Hero. (I am invested!)

I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t just a book about a love story, and that’s that. As it usually is with Juliet Ashton’s books, it’s so much more. It’s about community, found family, loss and grief, letting go of your past, and of course, some romance. Just a dash. (In a very, very satisfying way.)

So let me tell you more!

It’s Cozy, Heart-warming And Sweet, But It’s Also About Realistic People And Realistic Problems

The recipe for The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen is perfect: coziness, friendliness, some new hope, but also some dark past, mixed in for good measure. That bit of the story isn’t revealed right away, so you keep guessing at it as you go, and it keeps the tension well.

Like many characters written by Juliet Ashton, the cast is wonderfully quirky!

Somehow, this author always writes the perfect bunch of people for the story. There are quite a few characters in The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen, some of them more important, some more secondary – but they complement each other with their differences so well, and that’s because Juliet Ashton writes the best character dynamics ever. I loved that about The Sunday Lunch Club, and I found myself loving the same thing about the Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen too. What I liked about this bunch especially was that they were all so realistic (well, maybe apart from Hero. But a semi-romance has to have a good male romantic lead. We can’t do much about the fact that most real guys don’t actually keep up. Right? Who cares!)

Anyway, most of these characters (even Hero) have very real problems – oppressive, controlling families, life traumas and broken loves, addiction and broken families, or just serious health troubles that may break a family’s life. It’s not that only the lead characters are dealing with problems – everyone has some in this book, and it’s about how the community comes together to help each other figure out a way to make it better – even if they don’t always see eye to eye or even realize that they’re actually helping each other. (That’s what’s also so realistic about these character relationship dynamics.)

Quirky but realistic cast, heart-breaking problems, but heart-warming solutions – Juliet Ashton has written yet another wonderful book! And here's why you should read it: Click To Tweet

Don’t You Just Love Good Books About Found Family Though?

The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen is about family – but not the typical kind. It’s about found family, cultivated family.

Not many are gifted with a family that accepts us or gives us what we need, and this is mostly true for the people in this book. All of them so different, some may not even realize what they are to each other or that they also need everyone in this community – that they all aren’t just incidentally there, but they’re a family alright.

Again, back to the characters – I loved the way Juliet Ashton portrayed them. If at the start of the book they may seem a tad perfect, their struggles, flaws and passions will get revealed through the story, and I can tell you that not a single one is one-dimensional, a though some may get more attention than others. I can’t help it – I adore books that are made by the characters. I can only recommend this one!

Books that are made by the characters are the best – and The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen is one you won't forget quickly. Here's why: Click To Tweet

Triggers

This book is as beautiful as it is sad, so there are quite a few triggers. They include: death of husband and child. Alcohol abuse. Guilt. Divorce. Car crash. Cheating in marriage. Mentioned house fire and resulting death and loss. Emotional blackmail. Domestic violence (there is a scene of it.) However, you have to keep in mind that while the list of triggers is long, none of them are shocking or unexpected, even overly stress inducing. They won’t be sprung on you. Most of them are part of the characters’ histories, except for the big ones (addiction, divorced life, grieving a dead family, loss of child) which are part the main character’s current life.

I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.

Have you read anything by Juliet Ashton?
And do you enjoy soft books about found family and relationships?

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CG @ Paper Fury
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Ahh found family is the BEST. I completely adore books that feature it, and I’m so glad this one stole your heart.

Susan
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I love how you started your review!! I did it recently for Fate the Fallen and it was so much fun!!

Andreea
Guest

Every once in a while I crave a fluffy book without high stakes (only a tiny bit of drama), especially those that are about communities coming together and helping each other. But my kind of fluffy books are usually found in the erotica genre or regency romance (or both).