Pearl Winter hasn’t been outside in forty-three years.
Since she arrived on Dartmoor as a girl, an isolated family cottage has been her whole world. A place of safety. But now fifty-nine-year-old Pearl is utterly alone – except for the postman, the local crows, and memories of the summer of 1976.
Teenager Connor Matthews feels like a stranger in his own home.
Since his mother’s death he’s been adrift from his remaining family, troubled by the reality of moving on, and unable to see a future ahead. But when Connor begins a summer job as Pearl’s gardener, an unexpected friendship opens the door to a fresh start for them both. If only Pearl and Connor can take the first steps . . .
This is a story that alternates between three characters, Pearl, Nate and Connor. Pearl hasn’t set foot outside of her house for forty three years. I couldn’t imagine not even going outside into the garden or feeling the sun on my face and I found I had so much empathy for her. Something has happened in her past which has brought on her fear of going outside and it isn’t until she meets Connor whose friendship ignites something in her that has her wanting to make changes.
Connor is only a young lad. He is waiting for his exam results and has taken a summer job on which is how he meets Pearl. The friendship between these two characters was so lovely and heart-warming. Connor is struggling with things in his own personal life and I loved seeing how the friendship between both him and Pearl brought so much positivity. I felt my maternal instinct kick in when it came to this young man and many a time I wished I could reach out and give him a hug.
Nate is another lovely character. He is single after becoming divorced and lives on his own in a flat. A change in circumstances leaves him in a bit of a slump until his friend and neighbour gets him involved in volunteering at the local animal shelter. Well of course this was just another side to this story that held such charm for me as well as Nate’s personality. The author has created such likeable characters that readers will take into their hearts.
Reasons To Go Outside is a wonderful story of the best types of friendships. It’s such a gentle and lovely read which wholly captivated me. I fell in love with Pearl, Nate and Connor and felt bereft when I had to say goodbye as I had really enjoyed getting to know them all. They are the type of characters that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. A beautiful novel that will steal a part of your heart!
My thanks to the author and Hodder & Stoughton for a readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.