“How Much Wine Will Fix My Broken Heart” by Kristen Bailey

I am delighted to be among the first stops on day one of the Bookouture Books On Tour for the latest release by Kristen Bailey.

Bookouture kindly granted me a digital copy of “How Much Wine Will Fix My Broken Heart?”, via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

And that is exactly what you will find a bit further down this page following a brief bio of Kristen and a taster for her new book.

Links to where you can purchase “How Much Wine Will Fix My Broken Heart?” are given below my review.

The author – Kristen Bailey:

Kristen Bailey

Mother-of-four, gin-drinker, binge-watcher, receipt hoarder, enthusiastic but terrible cook. Kristen also writes. She has had short fiction published in several publications including Mslexia & Riptide.

Her first two novels, Souper Mum and “Second Helpings” were published in 2016.

In 2019, she was long listed in the Comedy Women in Print Prize and has since joined the Bookouture family. She writes women’s fiction and she hopes her novels have fresh and funny things to say about modern life, love and family.

You can find out more about Kristen at her website: www.kristenbaileywrites.com

You can also follow Kristen on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The blurb – “How Much Wine Will Fix My Broken Heart?”:

Are you suffering from a broken heart? Searching for the right medicine? Staring down the barrel of being single and not knowing where to start? Learn from Grace Callaghan! She’s done it all:

  • Wine is the answer. Some serving-size suggestions include: a glass the size of your head, a bathtub, an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Best served chilled, and with a straw.
  • Friends with benefits is always an option. Be prepared for side effects such as the guy saying ‘baby’, crying out his ex’s name and preferring to keep his socks on.
  • Going ‘out out’ helps banish the blues. It may involve breaking into replica ships from the fifteenth century, screaming ‘Aye-aye, Captain!’ and accidentally falling off the plank.
  • Karaoke makes everything better. Best enjoyed singing Enrique Iglesias, followed by an extra-large serving of fries.

Three years ago, when Grace’s heart was blown to smithereens, she made a promise to protect herself. But has she gone too far? Has she played it too safe? Should she take a leap into the unknown, messy business of the heart? Because maybe, just maybe, she could learn to love again…

This hilarious and totally gripping tale is for anyone who’s questioned their qualifications at life, and learned that a little bit of wine goes a long way! Fans of Shari Low, Sophie Kinsella and Why Mummy Drinks, be warned: prepare for odd looks when reading this in public due to the ugly laughing it induces.

The review:

I’ve found it hard in 2021.

Now, for regular readers of Kristen Bailey’s excellent series about the Callaghan girls, this statement probably sounds like something Lucy, the youngest of the five sisters, would giggle wildly at.

But, I’ve not been feeling myself lately. Cue more wicked grins from the sisters. I’ve been discombobulated, out of sorts, unable to take pleasure from my usual activities. Most years I read between thirty-five and fifty books. Not a huge number compared to some folk but it’s certainly more than the single novel I’ve finished so far in 2021. And June is almost over.

So, it was with a combination of great delight and keen trepidation that I greeted the arrival on my Kindle of an advance copy of Ms. Bailey’s latest book. Delight because I have thoroughly enjoyed her previous three books and trepidation because, for many months now, I haven’t been able to focus or concentrate on any story I’ve started. I was worried my current uneasy frame of mind would spoil my enjoyment of an author whose work I have begun to greatly look forward to.

I needn’t have been so anxious.

From the opening pages, I found myself once more in the company of the familiar and much-loved characters that Ms. Bailey brings to life with her crisp, snappy prose and her punchy, witty dialogue. I didn’t know it but it was her tight-knit gang of warm and caring, quirky and funny sisters that I needed to give me a little nudge back to being…well…to being me.

“How Much Wine Will Fix My Broken Heart?”, the fourth in the series,tells the story of recently widowed Grace Callaghan. Grace is learning to live, and love, again without her husband, Tom. The other Callaghan girls are on hand to offer advice – some of it actually quite useful! – and assistance to Grace as she navigates her mourning while raising the two little girls she adopted after Tom’s death.

This is another highly engaging and immensely enjoyable read from a young writer who is growing in confidence and quality with each new book she pens.

I very much enjoyed the brief glimpses into Grace and Tom’s romance that begin each chapter. These little snippets of letters and emails between the young couple really brought them to life as we witness them explore and understand their relationship. For me, this was a tremendously clever technique employed by Ms. B.

While still comic and crude in equal measure, I felt these traits were far subtler and more gentle than in the previous three books. Perhaps it was just my current troubled mind and my daily duo of little pills that lent me that impression? I suspect it has far more to do with Ms. Bailey’s skill in “connecting” fully with her characters and her ability to portray their emotions and to give vivid voice to their feelings.

Maybe, just maybe, the more tempered vibe of this novel is merely the lull before the storm? Because, the next Callaghan book will be about the fifth sister, and my favourite, Lucy.

And we just know that will be one wild, crazy, chaotic ride.

Postscript:

I read “How Much Wine Will Fix My Broken Heart?” in just a few days. And, in the following two weeks, I’ve started – and finished – another two novels.

I’m not much of a wine drinker- I much prefer a pint of Guinness – if I took a small glass of wine, it would likely be Malbec rather than Chardonnay – and I’m currently feeling a little lost rather than suffering from a broken heart (I’m very lucky to have the love of a good woman by my side). But, nonetheless, this book has been a balm to me and has given my spirits a lift when one was desperately needed.

So, thank you, Ms. Bailey, for helping soothe my broken mind.

The links:

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