From the publishers blurb -
Rachel is looking for her beautiful day. She's worried about everything: being a good mother, money and starting a new job.
Philip is a lost soul in the world and he could do with a friend.
They are just about to meet and when they do everything will change. Rachel and Philip don't know it yet, but they each have what the other needs. They can save one another, and not in the way you might expect.
This is a story about finding happiness and love in all their forms. And how sometimes you can find them in the most unlikely of places.
Beautiful day is a beautiful read, in fact it's a beautiful offering altogether from Penguin with a delightfully pretty cover and the sheer readability which grabs you from page one.
I read a couple of reviews for this by bloggers whose judgement I trust and whose reading tastes I share, so I was delighted when my request to Netgalley for this debut novel was approved and rather than consigning it to my to be read pile to wait its turn I opened it immediately and began reading - I finished it in 2 sittings I just couldn't put it down.
The description made me think it was going to be slightly similar to the poignant and heart wrenching Me Before you by the lovely writer Jojo Moyes, however, what it actually resembled more closely in style is the other great book by the same Ms Moyes - One plus One. I don't make this comparison lightly Jojo Moyes is one of my very favourite authors, a very accomplished writer with many best sellers to her name so to compare a first time novelist to her is praise indeed.
Kate Anthony has taken the mundane and everyday and made it sparkle and scintillate. This is the all too common story of a modern young mother whose husband has left her for a younger model, struggling to pay the bills and cope with 3 lively children, add to that her need to return to work after years away from the workplace, taking on a job some might view as undesirable and you have the bones of the storyline. But it's the beautiful writing style which makes this just impossible to put down. Rachel is a heroine I could instantly relate to and her children are brilliant, so real that I genuinely felt I knew them all personally. Rachels job involves working as a care worker in a residential home for adults with special needs and having done this as a volunteer myself, I felt I recognised the slightly run down care home with its quirky residents all with their own distinct personalities the staff varying from the careworn but caring to the harassed to the couldn't care less who personify the word careLESS!
Rachels life is chaotic to say the least and she really finds it difficult to manage despite doing her best life seems to be against her. Her ex-husband is a complete tosser - but then aren't all EXes? She really wants to make a difference in her new job and when she is given personal responsibility for a vulnerable new resident Philip she is determined she will do everything she possibly can to ease his transition into care home life after a life spent with his frail elderly Mum misguidedly shielding him from harm and from life! But the great law of Sod plays a blinder and as her own life descends into chaos so does the situation at work.
To say much more might spoil the joy I know you're going to get from reading this superb book which deals with quite deep subjects yet is never grim or dark. It's very easy to read but its not light and fluffy, it's just stunningly written and deliciously readable.
As a keen reader who enjoys reviewing books I've read, I sometimes feel inadequate to the task of explaining exactly why I have enjoyed a book as much as I have, I'm not an author and never could create realistic characters and storylines which absorb the reader completely like this. Full marks from me and my heartfelt thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to be one of the first folks to experience this great new author whom I am sure will write many more wonderful books and whose future work I will eagerly await.