Book Review: The Only Way is Up by Carole Matthews

As a huge Carole Matthews fan I thought I would share a review of my second favourite book of hers! My first favourite is Million Love Songs. You can read my review here.

My second favourite Carole Matthews book is called The Only Way is Up.

Here’s what the back of the book says:

Lily and Laurence had it all: the money, the car, a beautiful home in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Then Laurence loses his job and everything disappears. With nowhere to turn, Lily and Laurence are forced to take their two young children and move to a flea-ridden council house on a notoriously rough estate. As they try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, Lily constantly dreams of returning to her old, luxurious life. Will her dream come true or will she learn that money doesn’t always buy happiness?

There are so many elements to this book that I can really relate to. Although Laurence wasn’t made redundant like I was, he does loose his job. It was all thanks to a dubious scheme he thought would make his clients investments rather fruitful, but sadly it turned out to be a scam.

Laurence tried his best to hide the truth from his wife, Lily. He was convinced that he’d get another job quickly and Lily would never need to know that he’d ever lost his job in the first place. However, things didn’t quite work out that way.

On their return home from a rather expensive, luxurious holiday to Tuscany, Laurence and Lily find that their home has been boarded up.

Gone are their expensive cars. The horses aren’t in their stables, and all of their belongings are trapped inside their boarded up home.

Lily is distraught. The children, Hettie and Hugo, are confused, and Laurence is naturally ashamed.

Their kind chauffeur Peter, offers to take them to a nearby hotel and with it offers up some of his own money to help tide Laurence and Lily over.

Over the next few hours Laurence admits the truth to Lily and together they come up with a plan of action.

Despite owing huge amounts of money to their friend, amongst other debts, this story tells the tale of just how quickly you can fall from grace.

Once at the top of the social hierarchy, Laurence and Lily soon find out who their true friends are when they have nothing at all to give but their friendship and their word.

Having been offered a council house on a rough council estate called Netherslade Bridge, Laurence and Lily wonder if they’ll ever be able to return to their life of luxury ever again.

Lily has always been a housewife whilst Laurence was a high flying businessman. Their children went to boarding school and they never went without. How will they fare now that they have to enrol their children at the local state school, and seek work for themselves elsewhere?

Like many of Carole Matthews other books, I was immediately drawn to the lead female character. Lily is likeable, headstrong and clever, but she’s also vulnerable and desperate for a friend.

Carole Matthews writes superbly, and this easy to read book soon draws you and has you turning the page of each new chapter to find out what happens next.

I don’t want to give anymore away, so what I will say is that this book has a great storyline and is full of wonderful characters. It’s a great, easy to read book that I would highly recommend.

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