Monday, 28 November 2016

A Year And A Day by Isabelle Broom @Isabelle_Broom @MichaelJBooks #Prague #AYearAndADay

Welcome to a city where wishes are everywhere
For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she's determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything - and she won't let that happen again . . .
For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she's struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it's all her fault . . .
For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can't stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . . .
Three different women.

Three intertwining love stories.

One unforgettable, timeless city.

A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom was published by Penguin in paperback on 17 November 2016 and is the author's second novel.  I read and reviewed her first book, My Map of You, here on Random Things in May this year.

There is something very very special about Isabelle Broom. I absolutely loved her first book, My Map of You. It was set in Greece and for me, was pure book perfection.  In A Year and a Day she whisks her readers off to the city of Prague, alongside a cast of wonderfully created characters, and once more she's completely and totally stolen my heart.

The novel opens with a short, but heart-stopping prologue. An unnamed character, suffering, lonely and grief stricken. In just a few paragraphs, Isabelle Broom conveys such emotion and passion, this is the hook that draws in the reader, and she continues to wind you further and further into this truly magical story.

Three couples, well two and a half really, all in Prague for a short break. Three very different couples, there for different reasons, but all with their own problems and stories to tell.

Megan and Ollie are just good friends. They briefly toyed with the idea of a romantic relationship some time ago, but it didn't go anywhere. They are in Prague so that Ollie can learn more about the city before teaching his pupils, and Megan wants to take photographs for her upcoming exhibition. Hope and Charlie are older. Their relationship is new, and is filled with unease and sorrow. Hope's
daughter Annette is horrified by her Mother's betrayal of her Father, and has sworn never to speak to her again. Hope's happiness at finding Charlie after years of an unhappy marriage is tainted by her sorrow about Annette.  Finally, there's Sophie; young, gentle, frail and something of a mystery to the others. Sophie tells them all about her boyfriend Robin, who will join her in a few days time. Robin is the love of her life, her other half, she can't live without him.

Isabelle Broom explores the intricate details of these three relationships so very well. Her writing is astute, powerful and very emotionally charged. Yet, despite the emotion, this is not sentimental or sickly sweet. The characters are not perfect, they have their own flaws. At times their decisions can be frustrating to the reader, but this is what makes them so incredibly human, and believable.

When I read the author's first novel, I felt happily at home in the Greek setting, and whilst I have never visited the city of Prague, I feel now that I know it so well. The incredible detail in this story about his beautiful city is wonderful. The author clearly knows her way around the place, and takes her readers to every nook and cranny, not just the traditional tourist spots either. She has created a setting that has become another character, with the clocks, the snow, the strudel and the hot wine.

When I reviewed Isabelle Broom's first book, I tried not to gush. I'm trying not to gush now too, but oh my goodness, A Year and a Day really is so so special. This author can certainly take her place alongside well established authors such as Jojo Moyes and Rowan Coleman. It really is a triumph.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Isabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts at the University of West London before starting a career first in local newspapers, and then as a junior sub-editor at heat magazine.
She travelled through Europe during her gap year and went to live on the Greek island of Zakynthos for an unforgettable and life-shaping six months after completing her degree.
Since then, she has travelled to Canada, Sri Lanka, Sicily, New York, L.A, the Canary Islands, Spain and lots more of Greece, but her wanderlust was reined in when she met Max, a fluffy little Bolognese puppy desperate for a home.
When she's not writing novels set in far-flung locations, Isabelle spends her time being the Book Review Editor at heat magazine and walking her beloved dog round the parks of north London.

You can follow her on Twitter @Isabelle_Broom or find her on Facebook under Isabelle Broom Author.


  1. Great review. All the strands of the story come together so well. Prague in Winter sounds like an absolute must!

  2. Ah this sounds lovely! I just love Prague, I visitied a few years ago anf would love to come back. It's a very romantic city, I imagine it would be a great setting for this sort of book!