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For fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Evvie Drake Starts Over comes a funny and tender debut about a reclusive artist whose collection has gotten out of control—but whose unexpected friendship with a pair of new neighbors might be just what she needs to start over. Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist—of creating beautiful objects. But now she simply co For fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Evvie Drake Starts Over comes a funny and tender debut about a reclusive artist whose collection has gotten out of control—but whose unexpected friendship with a pair of new neighbors might be just what she needs to start over. Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist—of creating beautiful objects. But now she simply collects them. Aquamarine bottles, bright yellow crockery, deep Tuscan red pots (and the odd slow-cooker) take up every available inch of space in her house. Having suffered a terrible tragedy—one she staunchly refuses to let herself think about, thank you very much—she’s decided that it’s easier to love things than people. Things are safe. Things will never leave you. But when a new family moves in next door with two young boys, one of whom has a collection of his own, Amy’s carefully managed life starts to unravel, prompting her to question why she began to close herself off in the first place. As Amy embarks on a journey back into her past, she has to contend with nosy neighbors, a meddlesome government worker, the inept police, and a little boy whose love of bulldozers might just let Amy open up her heart—and her home—again. Quirky and charming, big-hearted and moving, The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton proves that it’s never too late to let go of the things that don’t matter...and welcome the people who do.


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For fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Evvie Drake Starts Over comes a funny and tender debut about a reclusive artist whose collection has gotten out of control—but whose unexpected friendship with a pair of new neighbors might be just what she needs to start over. Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist—of creating beautiful objects. But now she simply co For fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Evvie Drake Starts Over comes a funny and tender debut about a reclusive artist whose collection has gotten out of control—but whose unexpected friendship with a pair of new neighbors might be just what she needs to start over. Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist—of creating beautiful objects. But now she simply collects them. Aquamarine bottles, bright yellow crockery, deep Tuscan red pots (and the odd slow-cooker) take up every available inch of space in her house. Having suffered a terrible tragedy—one she staunchly refuses to let herself think about, thank you very much—she’s decided that it’s easier to love things than people. Things are safe. Things will never leave you. But when a new family moves in next door with two young boys, one of whom has a collection of his own, Amy’s carefully managed life starts to unravel, prompting her to question why she began to close herself off in the first place. As Amy embarks on a journey back into her past, she has to contend with nosy neighbors, a meddlesome government worker, the inept police, and a little boy whose love of bulldozers might just let Amy open up her heart—and her home—again. Quirky and charming, big-hearted and moving, The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton proves that it’s never too late to let go of the things that don’t matter...and welcome the people who do.

30 review for The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Bravo on this wonderful debut novel! I did get a little bit of "Eleanor Oliphant" vibes here although Eleanor was more endearing to me and Amy is a more serious character. I was engrossed in this book from start to finish. I loved the writing style and could not put it down. Amy Ashton has been suffering for a long time. Her boyfriend and best friend just disappeared one day and she has not seen or heard from them in over ten years. She lives a sad and lonely life and her coping mechanism is to "c Bravo on this wonderful debut novel! I did get a little bit of "Eleanor Oliphant" vibes here although Eleanor was more endearing to me and Amy is a more serious character. I was engrossed in this book from start to finish. I loved the writing style and could not put it down. Amy Ashton has been suffering for a long time. Her boyfriend and best friend just disappeared one day and she has not seen or heard from them in over ten years. She lives a sad and lonely life and her coping mechanism is to "collect" things. I really did not know the direction this book would take as I did not read up on it too much. The chapters are filled with some flashbacks as well as present day happenings as Amy tries to figure out what really happened to her best friend and the man she thought she was going to marry. I'd like to kindly thank NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada (Gallery books) for granting me access to this Advanced Reader Copy. Oh this book in emojis..🐦🦜🦉🏺☕️🕰🍷🍾🚜🗑

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Home. Amy felt better just seeing her front garden. Her beautiful pots guarded the house faithfully. She held her keyring tightly in her hand as she finally slid her key into the lock. Amy went in and closed the door behind her, ready to forget that the evening had ever happened. She stepped forward into her hallway and tripped. One of her giant stacks of newspapers had fallen over. Again. Newspapers were mingling with unopened mail and dried petals. The debris lined the floor like autum EXCERPT: Home. Amy felt better just seeing her front garden. Her beautiful pots guarded the house faithfully. She held her keyring tightly in her hand as she finally slid her key into the lock. Amy went in and closed the door behind her, ready to forget that the evening had ever happened. She stepped forward into her hallway and tripped. One of her giant stacks of newspapers had fallen over. Again. Newspapers were mingling with unopened mail and dried petals. The debris lined the floor like autumn leaves. She shuffled through; she couldn't face clearing up the mess. Not this evening. Some of the other towers of newspaper looked precarious too, reaching floor to ceiling like Doric columns. Her hallway reminded her of the Acropolis. The Acropolis after a party, she thought, stumbling over an empty wine bottle. She used to store her collection of green bottles in the kitchen, but she'd had to move some so she could get into the fridge. Ten or twenty privileged bottles sat on her hallway shelves; a couple had even been transformed into vases with stems of honeysuckle. But that had been some time ago, and the flowers had dehydrated into crunchy brown husks. Many of the bottles lounged empty on the floor, still waiting for a purpose. A second chance. ABOUT 'EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL': Sometimes it's impossible to part with the things we love the most... When Amy Ashton's world came crashing down eleven years ago, she started a collection. Just a little collection, just a few keepsakes of happier times: some honeysuckle to remind herself of the boy she loved, a chipped china bird, an old terracotta pot . . . Things that others might throw away, but to Amy, represent a life that could have been. Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves - soon there'll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery long buried, and Amy's carefully curated life begins to unravel. If she can find the courage to face her past, might the future she thought she'd lost still be hers for the taking? MY THOUGHTS: Everything is Beautiful was a little more chic-lit than I was expecting... I liked the plot and thought it had a great deal of potential, but I found most of the characters, including Amy, quite stylized. I loved Richard and his boys. Amy's 'collection' addiction is treated very sympathetically. The mystery was quite unexpected, as was the solution and, for me, was the highlight of the book. This is a quick, easy and entertaining read but I was expecting a little more depth than what I got. ⭐⭐⭐.3 #EverythingisBeautiful #NetGalley #hachetteaudio #eleanorraybooks @HachetteAudio @#eleanorraybooks #contemporaryfiction #mystery #domesticdrama #romance DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hachette UK Audio via Netgalley for providing an audiobook ARC of Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Review to come nearer to publication in February 2021

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alayne Emmett

    This book was truly wonderful, I simply loved it, the descriptions in this book bring it alive, I could picture Amy in her cluttered house with all her “treasures”. This book had similarities to Eleanor Olliphant but it was just as enjoyable, especially the twist near to the end. I do hope that this author writes more books like this. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. The first half of this well written story had my full attention! Amy is a hoarder - she can barely make her way from one room to the next in her small house, located in a town just outside of London. She has stacks of newspapers, boxes, bottles and bric-a-brac EVERYWHERE! Amy is indulging in shopping therapy. As the story progresses in its leisurely way, we are given hints that Amy suffered My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. The first half of this well written story had my full attention! Amy is a hoarder - she can barely make her way from one room to the next in her small house, located in a town just outside of London. She has stacks of newspapers, boxes, bottles and bric-a-brac EVERYWHERE! Amy is indulging in shopping therapy. As the story progresses in its leisurely way, we are given hints that Amy suffered a great and unexpected loss. Out of the blue, Amy's beloved boyfriend, Tim, ghosted her. On the very same day, her best friend Chantal also disappeared. No farewell notes, no emails, no texts, no phone calls - from EITHER of them! Amy didn't want to believe what all of their mutual friends had concluded - that Tim and Chantal had eloped - but after 11 years, it was hard to come up with any different explanation. Amy is left in limbo, and instead of looking for a therapist to help her deal with her feelings of abandonment and grief, Amy buys beautiful things that give her momentary pleasure. (No judgement here: many of us have been there, done that.) But Amy has gone to an extreme, and the neighbours and the neighbourhood council want Amy to reduce the massive clutter in her home - contractors can't even get in to repair the chimney, for goodness sake! Whether Amy likes it or not, Amy's life is going to change in drastic ways. New neighbours move in with two rambunctious little boys. One day, those rambunctious boys sneak into her backyard and topple one of several towers of clay planter's pots. Amy discovers a RING among the shards of clay - which starts her thinking..... and soon she is catapulted out of her emotional lethargy into a full-fledged investigation as to WHY Tim and Chantal disappeared from her life. In the meantime, Amy develops a close friendship with the new, handsome neighbour and those two young rascals. You will have to read this book to find out what Amy discovers about Tim and Chantal, and what the future holds in store for her. This story rambled a bit, and I was not happy that Amy didn't seek help or counseling for her prolonged feelings of grief and abandonment. And I really think it would have been a nice touch to get Marie Kondo in on the act - or a professional like Marie Kondo. Decluttering on your own can be an impossible task with someone as chronically unhappy as Amy. "Things" were the only sure source of Amy's happiness. To divest herself of these tangible proofs is a Herculean task, and friends handing her stickers to label what stays and what goes seemed unrealistic to me. However, this was a light, engaging story, and had me looking askance at my storage room, fully determined to toss all the Christmas ornaments I stopped putting out years ago! (I got rid of my huge artificial tree ages ago, but the delicate angel and ballerina glass ornaments are still hard to part with. Oh dear, maybe I had better put in a call to Marie?......) I'm rating this charming read a 3.5 out of 5. Highly recommended reading BEFORE you lose the nerve to start your own spring cleaning!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    Amy Ashton’s life fell apart eleven years earlier. At that time she started a collection of keepsakes of the guy she loved. Though they might be things others would throw away, to Amy they were precious. But her collection has grown and turned into an obsession that has her living in a cluttered house. When new neighbours move in next door., Amy is concerned for her pots and keepsakes in her yard. Though she attempts to keep her distance, the neighbour’s eldest son Charles is determined to make Amy Ashton’s life fell apart eleven years earlier. At that time she started a collection of keepsakes of the guy she loved. Though they might be things others would throw away, to Amy they were precious. But her collection has grown and turned into an obsession that has her living in a cluttered house. When new neighbours move in next door., Amy is concerned for her pots and keepsakes in her yard. Though she attempts to keep her distance, the neighbour’s eldest son Charles is determined to make friends. Amy finds herself drawn into the little family of Charles, younger brother Daniel and their father Richard. Richard's live in lover Nina is not so keen on the attention being shown to Amy by Richard and his boys. When she makes a chance discovery, Amy end up with lots of questions needing answers. Will she be able to find the answers and find the courage to move on to a more fulfilling life? I liked the way this story was told. A chapter from the present day interspersed with chapters from Amy’s past that explain how she ended up where she did as a hoarder. It is easy to empathise with the likeable Amy. Put quite simply, I cared what happened to her and was with her every step of the way. Richard is a great character and Charles is a delight, though sometimes he does sound somewhat older than the child he is. A story of grief, unanswered questions, obsession, love and hope, I adored this one. Loved seeing the relationship develop between Amy and the next door neighbours. I really loved this feel good story. One of this books that leaves you feeling satisfied at the end of it. Definitely a recommended read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    The Missing Treasures of Amy Aston (2021) written by Eleanor Ray, is an uplifting mystery centered around missing persons, the passage of time, and the crushing anxiety and grief of not knowing what might have happened. Ray studied at the University of Edinberg, where she earned a M.A. in English Literature, she lives in London with her husband and two children. Amy Ashton had worked for a large London advertising agency for years and lived alone in a once spacious home. The fact that she “rescue The Missing Treasures of Amy Aston (2021) written by Eleanor Ray, is an uplifting mystery centered around missing persons, the passage of time, and the crushing anxiety and grief of not knowing what might have happened. Ray studied at the University of Edinberg, where she earned a M.A. in English Literature, she lives in London with her husband and two children. Amy Ashton had worked for a large London advertising agency for years and lived alone in a once spacious home. The fact that she “rescued” broken items from neighboring rubbish bins including cracked and broken flower pots that she glued back together—suggests she likely had a psychological disorder. Amy could no longer have her (sympathetic) friends over for tea—there was no room, as she could barely navigate through the mounds of floor to ceiling boxes, bags and miscellaneous “treasures”. Over a decade ago, her beloved boyfriend Tim vanished with her best friend Chantel. The disappearance was fully investigated by police detective Jack Cooper, who concluded Tim and Chantel had run away together. Amy knew neither Tim (who was on the verge of proposing marriage) or Chantel would betray her. When Amy finds her engagement ring, a faded unreadable letter, and an equally faded photograph lost and overlooked for years in a musty flower pot, she knew she had a valuable clue. Slowly, with the help of her widowed neighbor Richard, and his two rambunctious boys that spotted a clue in the photograph right away-- Amy began to feel the necessity of sorting through her treasures and cleaning her house. to have Richard and his sons over. The story flashes back and forth between past and present, and readers get a sense of Amy as a former artist/painter, her devotion for Tim, a musician in an up-and-coming Indie-Rock band and his love for Amy. With a shocking conclusion, the narrative of Amy and Tim’s relationship tugs at the heartstrings. (3*GOOD) ~ ** With thanks to NetGalley for the DDC for the purpose of review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    I loved this book and it’s characters so much. I found the style of writing quite lyrical at times and I liked the mystery element of the story where Amy discovers what happened to her boyfriend, and best friend, all those years ago. The format of the book is my favourite kind, with the then chapters leading up to what happened and the now chapters finally revealing the truth, but also how Amy gets on with her life. It's a beautiful yet sad story about friendship, love, real life is I loved this book and it’s characters so much. I found the style of writing quite lyrical at times and I liked the mystery element of the story where Amy discovers what happened to her boyfriend, and best friend, all those years ago. The format of the book is my favourite kind, with the then chapters leading up to what happened and the now chapters finally revealing the truth, but also how Amy gets on with her life. It's a beautiful yet sad story about friendship, love, real life issues and finally healing. This is a lovely inspirational book about coming to terms with bad things from the past and moving on to a better future...and it gave me all the feels, it was a true delight to read. I was really absorbed by this debut novel and would happily read more from Eleanor Ray in the future. All. The. Stars. Disclosure: Thank you NetGalley, Eleanor Ray and Gallery Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #NetGalley

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    4 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This is a sweet Contemporary Fiction/Mystery that is a quick and easy read. Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist but after she suffered a terrible betrayal that she refuses to think about, she withdraws from the world and collects pretty things. Lots of pretty things. Her house is overflowing with pretty things, and Amy now loves pretty things instead of people because they won't leave her. Amy's quiet life is disrupted when 4 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This is a sweet Contemporary Fiction/Mystery that is a quick and easy read. Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist but after she suffered a terrible betrayal that she refuses to think about, she withdraws from the world and collects pretty things. Lots of pretty things. Her house is overflowing with pretty things, and Amy now loves pretty things instead of people because they won't leave her. Amy's quiet life is disrupted when the house next door is sold to a widower, his two young sons and the widower's girlfriend. One of the young boys loves things too, and has a collection of bulldozers of his own. Before long changes in Amy's life begin to multiply, and she finally examines what happened to her. A surprise discovery in her back garden sets her on a mission to find out for herself what happened, and why. The author does a great job of portraying Amy and how she's taken to hoarding things rather than working through her heartache. I liked how she showed that there is no quick and easy fix to Amy's fear and anxiety, and that no matter how helpful and good-hearted people may be, you can't push or intimidate someone to "get better" on your timeline. I enjoyed seeing Amy's growth throughout the book, and loved the two young boys she befriends. This is a sweet, uplifting book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Gallery Books. All opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    The first half of this well written story had my full attention! Amy is a hoarder - she can barely make her way from one room to the next in her small house, located in a town just outside of London. She has stacks of newspapers, boxes, bottles and bric-a-brac EVERYWHERE! Amy is indulging in shopping therapy. As the story progresses in its leisurely way, we are given hints that Amy suffered a great and unexpected loss. Out of the blue, Amy's beloved boyfriend, Tim, ghosted her. On the very same The first half of this well written story had my full attention! Amy is a hoarder - she can barely make her way from one room to the next in her small house, located in a town just outside of London. She has stacks of newspapers, boxes, bottles and bric-a-brac EVERYWHERE! Amy is indulging in shopping therapy. As the story progresses in its leisurely way, we are given hints that Amy suffered a great and unexpected loss. Out of the blue, Amy's beloved boyfriend, Tim, ghosted her. On the very same day, her best friend Chantal also disappeared. No farewell notes, no emails, no texts, no phone calls - from EITHER of them! Amy didn't want to believe what all of their mutual friends had concluded - that Tim and Chantal had eloped - but after 11 years, it was hard to come up with any different explanation. Amy is left in limbo, and instead of looking for a therapist to help her deal with her feelings of abandonment and grief, Amy buys beautiful things that give her momentary pleasure. (No judgement here: many of us been there, done that.) But Amy has gone to an extreme, and the neighbours and the neighbourhood council want Amy to reduce the massive clutter in her home - contractors can't even get in to repair the chimney, for goodness sake! Whether Amy likes it or not, Amy's life is going to change in drastic ways. New neighbours move in with two rambunctious little boys. One day, those rambunctious boys sneak into her backyard and topple one of several towers of clay planter's pots. Amy discovers a RING among the shards of clay - which starts her thinking..... and soon she is catapulted out of her emotional lethargy into a full-fledged investigation as to WHY Tim and Chantal disappeared from her life. In the meantime, Amy develops a close friendship with the new, handsome neighbour and those two young rascals. You will have to read this book to find out what Amy discovers about Tim and Chantal, and what the future holds in store for her. This story rambled a bit, and I was not happy that Amy didn't seek help or counseling for her prolonged feelings of grief and abandonment. And I really think it would have been a nice touch to get Marie Kondo in on the act - or a professional like Marie Kondo. Decluttering on your own can be an impossible task with someone as chronically unhappy as Amy. "Things" were the only sure source of Amy's happiness. To divest herself of these tangible proofs is a Herculean task, and friends handing her stickers to label what stays and what goes seemed unrealistic to me. However, this was a light, engaging story, and had me looking askance at my storage room, fully determined to toss all the Christmas ornaments I stopped putting out years ago! Someone else (my lucky grand nieces and nephews!) will get a use out of those pretty ceramic carousels, and crystal angels and ballerinas that used to decorate my artificial tree. (I got rid of the huge tree ages ago, but the delicate angels and ballerinas are still hard to part with. Oh dear, maybe I had better put in a call to Marie?......) I'm rating this charming read a 3.5 out of 5. Highly recommended reading BEFORE you lose the nerve to start your spring own cleaning! My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    RELEASE DATE: June 8, 2021 Amy Ashton likes to collect things - bottles, cups, flower pots and a host of other items. Sometimes she thinks maybe her collecting is getting out of hand but usually convinces herself otherwise. She assigns human characteristics to many of the objects to replace the lack of human interaction in her life. The story is told from Amy's POV with flashbacks to the days before she became a hoarder and before her boyfriend and best friend disappeared. A new family moves in n RELEASE DATE: June 8, 2021 Amy Ashton likes to collect things - bottles, cups, flower pots and a host of other items. Sometimes she thinks maybe her collecting is getting out of hand but usually convinces herself otherwise. She assigns human characteristics to many of the objects to replace the lack of human interaction in her life. The story is told from Amy's POV with flashbacks to the days before she became a hoarder and before her boyfriend and best friend disappeared. A new family moves in next door and with the help of two little boys and their father, Amy learns to trust people again and takes steps towards letting go of some of her "treasures". I used to like to watch those reality shows about hoarders. I'm not sure what the fascination was but I would wonder how these people got to such a point in their lives that their living conditions were unsafe and unsanitary. I liked the character of Amy and loved the descriptions of some of the mixed media artwork that she created in the past. It was very heartening to see the changes in Amy as the story progressed and the ending was perfect. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to a friend. Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anu

    3.5 stars. I'm a virtual hoarder. I have no real emotional attachment to most of my material possessions, but I like to cling on to my the photos, texts, and emails, and anything else I can save on my phone. I almost never have space to save new things on my phone, and I pay Google every month so I have their 100GB plan. Because I'm a virtual hoarder. I like the nostalgia of what was, and sometimes, of what could have been. What I'm trying to say here, is that in my own way, I get a little of wh 3.5 stars. I'm a virtual hoarder. I have no real emotional attachment to most of my material possessions, but I like to cling on to my the photos, texts, and emails, and anything else I can save on my phone. I almost never have space to save new things on my phone, and I pay Google every month so I have their 100GB plan. Because I'm a virtual hoarder. I like the nostalgia of what was, and sometimes, of what could have been. What I'm trying to say here, is that in my own way, I get a little of where Amy is coming from. We form attachments with a particular memory, or a particular moment in time, a particular point in space, and we try our best to not let go. Whether with tangible objects that fill up our homes, or intangible photos that fill up our phones, or even just memories, is up to us. Amy Ashton had everything (or some version of it, at least) one minute, and the next minute, nothing at all. Now, at least she has her bottles and birds, potted plants and lighters, cookbooks and slow cookers. And, she has the memories associated with them. Navigating life, however, is more difficult than navigating a house full of cartons, and this is something Amy realises she has to do, as some semblance of a relationship begins developing with her new neighbours. Amy Ashton is the story of the titular character's past and present relationships, and it's got a lot of heart, some laughter, and some tears. I read Amy Ashton because I was told it was in the vein of Eleanor Oliphant and Evvie Drake , two books I absolutely adored. I liked Amy Ashton just as much till about the last 10% of it. The ending, to me, felt both rushed and unnecessary, a little bit like the last piece in a jigsaw puzzle that just doesn't fit right. Eleanor Ray is an excellent writer and for the most part, a deft storyteller. I finished it almost entirely in a single sitting, which I like in a book. I appreciated that the book was not longer than it should have been; in fact, I would not have been mad if I'd had another 50 pages to read. I'm also a fan of any kind of non-linear storytelling, when it is done well, and in this case, it really works. On the other hand, I was mostly underwhelmed by the supporting characters that are a part of Amy's present, as opposed to those from her past. Maybe this was intentional, seeing as Amy was mostly living in her past, maybe it just happened to read that way. I am likely to add more details to the review closer to publication. Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the eARC!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    I could definitely identify with the main character in this one! I chuckled to myself many times, thinking of the chipped mug I refuse to throw away, because it was given to me by my first boyfriend! I felt a strange affinity and defence of Amy's habits, and it definitely shed a rather large light on my own! This book was warm and definitely lifted my heart, wanting her to face the problems in her life and live it to the full. She was clearly troubled, and my heart ached with her pain. I would de I could definitely identify with the main character in this one! I chuckled to myself many times, thinking of the chipped mug I refuse to throw away, because it was given to me by my first boyfriend! I felt a strange affinity and defence of Amy's habits, and it definitely shed a rather large light on my own! This book was warm and definitely lifted my heart, wanting her to face the problems in her life and live it to the full. She was clearly troubled, and my heart ached with her pain. I would definitely recommend this book!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    No one travels lightly through life anymore. Amy Ashton is good at collecting things. Every stop at a charity shop is a treasure hunt for a rare bird, an ash tray (she doesn't smoke), or perhaps a vase that reminds her of the sunrise. Her home is getting a bit crowded. Now she has new neighbors and the two little boys in the family seem intent making her one of their playmates. It is easy to see by the pots that have accumulated in front of her house, that there are some hazards in Amy's home. Th No one travels lightly through life anymore. Amy Ashton is good at collecting things. Every stop at a charity shop is a treasure hunt for a rare bird, an ash tray (she doesn't smoke), or perhaps a vase that reminds her of the sunrise. Her home is getting a bit crowded. Now she has new neighbors and the two little boys in the family seem intent making her one of their playmates. It is easy to see by the pots that have accumulated in front of her house, that there are some hazards in Amy's home. The village council has come by to check on her chimney and been unsuccessful. Amy has baggage--literal and emotional. Her best friend Chantal and beloved boyfriend Tim went missing on the same day over a decade ago. Not knowing what really happened has been a burden. When a new clue surfaces, Amy renews her search. Flashbacks to the past give us insight into the reasons Amy treasures the things she does. In the present, the family next door is nudging Amy to return to living life with people and not things. I loved this insight into the life of a hoarder. The little boys added levity and light to what could have been a grim narrative. It's a mystery with a bit of a Frederik Backman feel to it. Would make a fantastic book group read. Love the colorful cover! Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)

    Sometimes it's impossible to part with the things we love the most.... “When Amy Ashton's world came crashing down eleven years ago, she started a collection. Just a little collection, just a few keepsakes of happier times. Things that others might throw away but to Amy, represent a life that could have been. Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves - soon there'll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery long since burie Sometimes it's impossible to part with the things we love the most.... “When Amy Ashton's world came crashing down eleven years ago, she started a collection. Just a little collection, just a few keepsakes of happier times. Things that others might throw away but to Amy, represent a life that could have been. Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves - soon there'll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery long since buried and Amy's carefully curated life begins to unravel.” In the current world of worry, depression and unpredictability, this book was like therapy for me. It really picked me up and although heart breaking at times, it was uplifting, fascinating, funny and with a mystery element to keep you intrigued, I was unable to put this book down and felt bereft when I was finished. I made a true friend in Amy, feeling like a kindred spirit - Amy with her endless collection of ornamental birds and knick knacks and her peculiarities and me with my boxes and piles of books in every room I couldn’t think to part with. I adored how she saw such beauty in living and all things inanimate, describing them so vividly with wonderfully, vibrant colourful similes and so obviously filled with love. Who could have imagined the beauty in an empty wine bottle or an unused ashtray? All the unique characters were excellently portrayed, from the gossipy, nosy neighbour to Liam, Amy’s office admirer. The way the story was narrated, with events as they unfolded in current time and Amy’s life before her world crumbled, the two intertwined seamlessly and kept you wanting to turn the pages faster than you could read them. “Everything is Beautiful” and everything IS beautiful about this book - from cover to cover, page to page - you’ll find this book hard to put down and will live with you forever, it certainly will with me! This book comes highly recommended and I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next. 5 gloriously beautiful stars! Eleanor Ray has an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University. She lives in London with her husband and two young children. Eleanor was inspired to write her debut novel by the objects her toddler collects and treasures – twigs, empty water bottles and wilting daisies. Many thanks to Jo Wickham and Little Brown for my copy of the book in return for an honest review. You can purchase this stunning story from the following link - https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/titles/...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    Eleven years after Amy Ashton was encouraged to gather a selection of precious memories in a shoebox, her home is filled to the brim with keepsakes. Bundles of newspapers tower in the hallways, boxes block the stairs, wine bottles cover the floor, coffee mugs and cookbooks clutter the kitchen, ceramic birds perch on every flat surface, vases hold dead bouquets of honeysuckle, and lighters and ashtrays (even though Amy doesn’t smoke) are stacked in teetering piles. Told in alternating chapters bet Eleven years after Amy Ashton was encouraged to gather a selection of precious memories in a shoebox, her home is filled to the brim with keepsakes. Bundles of newspapers tower in the hallways, boxes block the stairs, wine bottles cover the floor, coffee mugs and cookbooks clutter the kitchen, ceramic birds perch on every flat surface, vases hold dead bouquets of honeysuckle, and lighters and ashtrays (even though Amy doesn’t smoke) are stacked in teetering piles. Told in alternating chapters between present day and the past, why Amy came to stuff her home with ‘treasures’ is gradually revealed in this heartrending and beautiful tale by author Eleanor Ray. A capable and valued administrator at a financial advice firm, Amy is unassuming, her wardrobe is dull, she never wears makeup and avoids social events. Few would imagine what the intensely private woman returns home to each night, and Amy prefers that no one cares, she is content with just the company of her ‘beautiful things’ that remind of happier times. Amy’s neighbour, Rachel, cares though, and blames her for an ongoing problem with mice. When a new family moves in next door, Rachel thinks she has found an ally in forcing Amy to change, but with a well paced and thoughtful plot, it doesn’t happen in the way that you may expect. I loved the unexpected way in which some of the elements of the story developed, and though I had an inkling of what the main twist would be, I wasn’t disappointed to be proved right. Amy is slightly awkward and intensely vulnerable, but despite her extreme behaviour, there would be few who would not find her sympathetic. I found myself feeling strangely protective of her, perhaps in part because I’m a bit of a hoarder myself. There are also several delightful supporting characters in the book, including the two charming young sons of Amy’s new neighbour, and an elderly retired shopkeeper. It has its villains too, who are satisfyingly dealt with. Everything is Beautiful may begin as a story of tragedy and grief, but ultimately it is one of healing and hope, which I found moving and am delighted to recommend.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum

    Readers of Carpe Librum will know that I love reading - and watching documentaries - about hoarders. There's something uniquely fascinating to me about the physical manifestation of their grief, personal trauma or mental illness and the appeal of the before/after transformation process and subsequent recovery - albeit rarely achieved - is irresistible. In Everything is Beautiful, Eleanor Ray has created the perfect setting and background story for a hoarding character in the form of Amy Ashton. I Readers of Carpe Librum will know that I love reading - and watching documentaries - about hoarders. There's something uniquely fascinating to me about the physical manifestation of their grief, personal trauma or mental illness and the appeal of the before/after transformation process and subsequent recovery - albeit rarely achieved - is irresistible. In Everything is Beautiful, Eleanor Ray has created the perfect setting and background story for a hoarding character in the form of Amy Ashton. I was really able to get inside Amy's head and understand just how her hoarding started and how difficult it was for her to make any space in her house - or her life - for anything else. The introduction of new neighbours and the way in which they immediately inserted themselves into Amy's life reminded me a little of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman but in a good way. Like Amy, I don't have children, but the neighbour's children and their interactions with Amy were instantly relatable and heartwarming and I loved their presence in the novel. There's also a compelling mystery that is slowly unravelled and I was eager to find out what happened to Amy's boyfriend after he and her best friend disappeared twelve years ago. Right around the time Amy's hoarding started. This book is being marketed at fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I can see why. I actually had the same reading experience with both books, despite the many differences between the two main characters. I became heavily invested in the wellbeing of Amy (as I did Eleanor), and I wanted to see her character grow and heal from her trauma. Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray is a heartwarming contemporary novel and I found myself enjoying an unexpected five star reading experience. Highly recommended. * Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia *

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton is women's fiction with a bit of a mystery element. The narrator is Amy Ashton (3rd person POV). She is such an unusual heroine. She is quirky and kind. She had a trauma happen to her 11 years before. And now her house is completely full of "treasures". The book focuses on a mystery. Something happened to Amy's boyfriend Tim and best friend Chantel years ago. This was an interesting part of the book. Another main part of the story has to do with a friendship bet The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton is women's fiction with a bit of a mystery element. The narrator is Amy Ashton (3rd person POV). She is such an unusual heroine. She is quirky and kind. She had a trauma happen to her 11 years before. And now her house is completely full of "treasures". The book focuses on a mystery. Something happened to Amy's boyfriend Tim and best friend Chantel years ago. This was an interesting part of the book. Another main part of the story has to do with a friendship between Amy and the family that moves in next door. Amy is a major hoarder. And honestly how she acted made me so uncomfortable. The story is mostly told in the present. But at the end of each chapter we get flashbacks of her past. I didn't really like all of the stuff from the past. But the things that I did like a lot: 1) Richard and his kids (the new neighbors), and 2) the mystery (of what happened to her boyfriend and best friend). I also really enjoyed the resolution of the mystery and the ending. Overall this book was good. I just didn't love all of the stuff from the past. Thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for allowing me to read this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jill Dobbe

    I find myself drawn to female characters who are sweet and good-hearted, but a little quirky. Amy Ashton was just that sort of character. Hurt by her best friend and boyfriend who she'd assumed betrayed her and disappeared together, she lived a hoarder existence, believing that "things" couldn't hurt her the way that people could. This book engaged me from the very beginning. I couldn't get through the pages fast enough, wanting to know the truth behind the disappearance of Amy's best friend and I find myself drawn to female characters who are sweet and good-hearted, but a little quirky. Amy Ashton was just that sort of character. Hurt by her best friend and boyfriend who she'd assumed betrayed her and disappeared together, she lived a hoarder existence, believing that "things" couldn't hurt her the way that people could. This book engaged me from the very beginning. I couldn't get through the pages fast enough, wanting to know the truth behind the disappearance of Amy's best friend and boyfriend. I continually rooted for Amy, hoping she'd eventually find the love and happiness she deserved. Readers will be charmed by Amy's endearing peculiarities. The Missing Treasures is a warm and cozy read that will leave readers feeling gratified.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

    Amy Ashton has spent the last seventeen years working as an administrator for a firm of financial advisors and when readers are first introduced to her she is trying to escape an after work drink and ‘rescue’ an empty wine bottle destined only for the bin. All becomes clear when Amy arrives home and her hoarding problem becomes evident, with boxes, lighters, wine bottles and newspapers even blocking the stairs. Amy does not see her many accumulated items as junk however but treasures to be taken Amy Ashton has spent the last seventeen years working as an administrator for a firm of financial advisors and when readers are first introduced to her she is trying to escape an after work drink and ‘rescue’ an empty wine bottle destined only for the bin. All becomes clear when Amy arrives home and her hoarding problem becomes evident, with boxes, lighters, wine bottles and newspapers even blocking the stairs. Amy does not see her many accumulated items as junk however but treasures to be taken care of, each one a reminder of a traumatic experience that tore her world apart eleven years ago. Amy’s life has been on pause ever since and it is this experience which explains her reluctance to let anyone into her life. A second timeline then opens that rolls back the years to 1998 when a seventeen-year-old Amy was living a very different life, partying with best friend Chantel and beginning a relationship with guitar playing Tim. As the narrative cuts between now and then and progressively bring Amy’s life up to date readers learn that eleven years ago both Amy’s best friend and boyfriend disappeared without explanation. Forced to conclude they had betrayed her and left together, Amy’s treasures are all memories of her past life and occupy all the space in her heart, keeping people out and building walls around herself. The arrival of new neighbours with two young sons sets in motion a chain of events which begin when a stack of Amy’s many garden pots are sent tumbling down by the boys and it uncovers a clue that could go some way to answering the question of just what happened to Tim and Chantel. As chapters alternate between past and present and add detail to Amy’s shared past with Tim and Chantel, and meaning to the clues, that initial discovery provides the impetus for Amy’s decision to confront the past. Initially encouraged by her neighbour’s son, eight-year-old Charles, and then supported by his father, Richard, it gives rise to a heartwarming and realistic connection where both parties have their own baggage. I was championing Amy every step of the way as, aided by the patience of Richard and the irrepressible spirit of young Charles, she reassesses her past memories and makes a series of revelations which all come courtesy of that initial clue. It barely mattered to me that the path to Amy’s discoveries wasn’t always credible or even logical as I was vying for her to rebuild her life and overcome the trauma of her past. Amy is such a well-crafted character and her obvious vulnerability and defensiveness were understandable and endearing and I sided with her from the off. Eleanor Ray impressively steers clear of poking fun at her protagonist or playing for laughs and explores Amy’s fractured past with sensitivity and humanity. The rationale behind the items Amy hoards is gradually unravelled through snapshots of her past and gives the reader a glimpse into her psyche. A memorable secondary cast led by eight-year-old Charles and his empathetic father, Richard, all play their part in supporting Amy’s journey, including her initially shirty neighbour, Rachel. Ray has a great ear for dialogue with Amy’s conversations with colleagues often at cross-purposes, her rather literal responses confounding and Charles’ non sequiturs making me grin. Everything is Beautifully is the perfect choice for readers craving an uplifting novel with satisfying depth that is thankfully free from twee!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Clunky writing, flat characters, and a confusing plot, I did not love reading this book. The premise had promise, but the author never dove into Amy’s hoarding and weirdly turned the book into a crime thriller and romance at the last minute? The mystery wasn’t rewarding either because Amy was so ineffective at solving it that another character had to arrive to spell it all out for her in the third last chapter. Could’ve been an interesting exploration of trauma; ended up a bit of a mess 😕

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tabassum Irin (whatirinreads)

    OMG you guys. Everything Is Beautiful was just so….beautiful. Since the book’s blurb said that it was perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I was immediately hooked. I know a lot of you guys didn’t like how Eleanor Oliphant’s story was narrated, but Everything Is Beautiful is so, so much better. Eleanor Ray’s writing style is so addicting, you can’t help turning the pages to discover what happens next in the main character, Amy Ashton’s life. 💕 Amy’s story explored themes of gr OMG you guys. Everything Is Beautiful was just so….beautiful. Since the book’s blurb said that it was perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I was immediately hooked. I know a lot of you guys didn’t like how Eleanor Oliphant’s story was narrated, but Everything Is Beautiful is so, so much better. Eleanor Ray’s writing style is so addicting, you can’t help turning the pages to discover what happens next in the main character, Amy Ashton’s life. 💕 Amy’s story explored themes of grief, solidarity, and friendship. The title of the book itself holds a very special message. You see, Amy hoards the simplest of things – mugs, empty bottles, ashtrays, clocks, mirrors, basically all kinds of stuff – because she finds beauty in everything out there.💖 She lost two of her favorite people in the world in just a span of 24 hours, so she holds on to her “treasures” to find a sense of happiness in her lonely life. I loved reading about her. Her “closed-off” demeanor made her a very interesting character, since the chapters kept revealing a different side of her life until the very end. I felt a deep sense of empathy with her throughout the story. I loved how the chapters in Everything in Beautiful swiftly changed between two timelines. The “past” chapters were always titled (I think the finished copy will contain illustrations of the objects too, the e-ARC didn’t have those, sadly) with the name of the treasure that Amy collected during that time. This made reading the book really fascinating! There was also a mystery aspect to the storyline, and I couldn’t wait to see how everything turned out in the end. The supporting characters were beautifully written as well. I especially loved Daniel and Charles – Amy’s littol neighbors who made her come out of her shell with their loving nature. Equal parts heart-warming and heart-breaking, Everything is Beautiful mesmerized me in the best way possible. The book comes out on the 4th of February, 2021. Please read it when it comes out, you’ll fall in love, I promise. * I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own *

  23. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Kerdouci

    Actual rating 4.5 stars In Everything is Beautiful the reader is welcomed into the world that belongs to Amy Ashton, a woman who spends her working life at Trapper,Lemon and Hughes and her spare time adding to her hoard of treasures, many of which serve as a painful reminder of a happier past life. In one fell swoop Amy lost both her boyfriend Tim and best friend Chantal, their sudden disappearance eleven years ago still a mystery to this day. With her house fit to bursting but unable to curb her Actual rating 4.5 stars In Everything is Beautiful the reader is welcomed into the world that belongs to Amy Ashton, a woman who spends her working life at Trapper,Lemon and Hughes and her spare time adding to her hoard of treasures, many of which serve as a painful reminder of a happier past life. In one fell swoop Amy lost both her boyfriend Tim and best friend Chantal, their sudden disappearance eleven years ago still a mystery to this day. With her house fit to bursting but unable to curb her hoarding tendencies, Amy is struggling to let go of her past even if it means eventually being buried alive underneath all her boxes of treasures. The arrival of new neighbours sets to disturb her equilibrium thanks mainly to the inquisitive nature of Richard’s two boys. Except it’s their sense of adventure that leads to a most unexpected discovery amongst all her clutter, providing Amy with a much longed for clue to finally solve the mystery surrounding Tim and Chantal’s disappearance. Amy is like a modern day womble (or magpie given her love for our little feathered friends) further adding to her treasure trove of birds pots and bottles in particular, the significance of which will become as transparent to the reader as the empty bottles she’s amassed over the years. To the majority of people, broken or damaged objects or those that have simply outlived their use can be discarded without a second thought. For Amy it’s a very different story. She sees beauty in the broken and unwanted, lovingly creating a shrine (as well as a health and safety hazard!) to the past, trapped in a cage of her own making. With only her memories and her treasures providing comfort against a life that has caused her immense heartache Amy is a tragic yet endearing character. I was utterly charmed by her as I’m sure you will be too. I knew I’d thoroughly enjoy this storyline because Amy is the type of fictional character I’m drawn to since she’s the epitome someone who has lost their way in life and the subject of possible ridicule. Her unusual way of living and her prickly demeanour hides her true personality turning her into a complex and fascinating figure. There is so much tenderness in the way in which the author approaches and deals with Amy’s hoarding I could imagine her wearing kid gloves as she wrote these scenes mindful of Amy’s fragility. Like her many broken pots I felt the author didn’t wish to inflict any more harm upon Amy’s fractured self. The inclusion of delightful characters such as Charles and Daniel add some levity to what would otherwise be a tough subject to deal with (without causing offence) as what better way to disarm Amy and throw her life off kilter than the presence of two innocent and playful little boys. Oh my goodness this pair made me laugh with Charles’s encyclopaedic knowledge of diggers and Daniel never missing an opportunity to ask for ice cream! Even next door neighbour Rachel’s darling cat Smudge forever lurking in the background and causing a fair amount of mischief ups the ante in terms of amusement. Plus there is a certain amount of ironic humour to be found in the accumulation of so much ‘treasure’ which may eventually prove to be incredibly useful if not dangerous!! I loved that there is a mystery element to the narrative albeit one that can be solved within a blink of an eye. What’s happened to Tim and Chantal in the eleven years they’ve been missing from Amy’s life isn’t hard to fathom and really that’s my only criticism of this novel, not that it’s entirely predictable but that parts of its execution had me raising an eyebrow in disbelief. However it is only a minor criticism and didn’t lessen my overall enjoyment of what is such a pleasurable read. My favourite part by far is the unfurling of Amy and Tim’s love story which is as beautiful and sweet as the honeysuckle Amy is so fond of. Everything is Beautiful is a funny, touching, romantic, wonderfully hopeful novel featuring a quirky protagonist who proves its never too late to mend a broken heart. This is a storyline about accepting people, warts and all, so despite her peculiarities, Amy may just come to realise life is there to be lived if only she can begin to let go of both the physical and emotional baggage that is weighing her down. I felt infused with a warm contented glow from tip to toe from having ‘met’ Amy Ashton, delighted and humbled by her brief presence in my world. Plus I don’t think I’ll look at an empty wine bottle in quite the same light from now on! Highly recommend. My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Rodrigues

    If you’ve ever watched the television show Hoarders, you, like me, may have wondered why people hold on to things and accumulate more stuff than they know what to do with. Watching the show and reading about hoarders has never really got me feeling so empathetic towards them as I did reading this heartbreaking story. When people can’t deal with heartbreak and when they lose control of their life, they often try to control other things. Hoarding too, is a form of coping with pain that a person can If you’ve ever watched the television show Hoarders, you, like me, may have wondered why people hold on to things and accumulate more stuff than they know what to do with. Watching the show and reading about hoarders has never really got me feeling so empathetic towards them as I did reading this heartbreaking story. When people can’t deal with heartbreak and when they lose control of their life, they often try to control other things. Hoarding too, is a form of coping with pain that a person cannot control. When Amy loses both her boyfriend and best friend at the same time, her life is out of control. She begins to hoard. She tries to fix broken things, as if in doing so she can fix her broken heart. The author has done such a brilliant job of creating the quirky, sad, lonely and yet loveable character of Amy. As she goes about her life, collecting, trying to fix broken objects and all the while having things pile up around her, Amy feels that’s she’s okay. Her world is suddenly turned upside down by the arrival of new neighbours – two young, rambunctious boys and their father. When the boys break some pots in her garden, Amy finds something that might help her travel down the past and see it in a new way. Will she find it in her to look back at the past and see it for what it is? Will she be able to move out of her comfort zone? This is above all a story of hope – an affirmation that we can heal. Amy’s story is a confirmation that unquestioning affection from children and the non-judgemental presence and kindness of adults can give us the strength to move forward from heartbreak and truly discover the beauty in brokenness. This is certainly my best read of 2021 and the story will stay with me for a long time.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    I enjoyed this read, but really could not connect with the main character Amy at all, and I also was not thrilled with the resolution of one of the conflicts. It is definitely entertaining but was just not the right read for me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jade bishop

    Adored this book, the story was heartwarming with a great amount of twists that I didn’t see coming, one of my top 5 reads to date ♥️

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anika | Chapters of May

    Everything is Beautiful reads like a sentimental story. And although it contains emotional chapters of calamity and sorrow, its overall message is one of hope and acceptance. The protagonist, Amy, lives in a home full of accumulated treasures, trinkets, and articles from her past. What most would see as a hoarder’s den, Amy sees as a trove of memories, with each item linking to a different experience. When a family including two young and adventurous boys move in next door, Amy’s piles of junk b Everything is Beautiful reads like a sentimental story. And although it contains emotional chapters of calamity and sorrow, its overall message is one of hope and acceptance. The protagonist, Amy, lives in a home full of accumulated treasures, trinkets, and articles from her past. What most would see as a hoarder’s den, Amy sees as a trove of memories, with each item linking to a different experience. When a family including two young and adventurous boys move in next door, Amy’s piles of junk begin to tumble down, forcing her to come face to face with different elements of her own history. The book flashes back to each of her recollections, all leading up to one traumatic event that tore Amy’s world apart and left her obsessively collecting the pieces. Eleanor Ray has a friendly and inviting writing style that makes the book easy to digest. She also treats Amy’s collection of clutter with a sympathy and kindness that’s warming to read. I like the normalcy of the dialogue between the characters which helps it all to feel very realistic. Sadly, my attention waivered from the third chapter and remained unsteady to the end. As much as I enjoyed the writing and the use of flashbacks, I struggled to connect to the story and the characters. When it comes to the character of Amy, her development is gratifying to read. But there were many times where I found her behaviour frustrating. I felt like there was a human element missing to her personality that crossed the lines of interesting to perplexing. However, I love that Ray avoided using Amy as a tool for humour. As much as I appreciated the glimpse into her life, I still found myself feeling less engaged as the chapters went on. I also disliked almost every character besides Amy’s neighbour, Richard, and his sons, Daniel and Charles. While they were a source of joy, the others felt more like a distraction. There are a few parts of Everything is Beautiful that remind me of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. And I think fans of Gail Honeyman will also enjoy this novel. There’s a nice humour to the narrative that brings levity to its heart-breaking events. But while the non-linear narrative is done well, unfortunately this just wasn’t captivating enough for me to feel excited through to the end. For more book reviews and posts, check out my blog or follow along on Instagram 📚✨

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emma Shaw

    "We all have baggage. No one travels lightly anymore." Amy Ashton is not your typical literary heroine. Standoffish and strange, Amy lives alone in a house that resembles an episode of hoarders. But to Amy her house is perfect; full of the treasures she collects and protects. But I soon discovered that beyond that spiky outer shell is a nuanced, vulnerable and caring woman whom I adored. The story itself was also full of surprises. I was immediately enamoured by the author’s prose and quirky tale "We all have baggage. No one travels lightly anymore." Amy Ashton is not your typical literary heroine. Standoffish and strange, Amy lives alone in a house that resembles an episode of hoarders. But to Amy her house is perfect; full of the treasures she collects and protects. But I soon discovered that beyond that spiky outer shell is a nuanced, vulnerable and caring woman whom I adored. The story itself was also full of surprises. I was immediately enamoured by the author’s prose and quirky tale and soon found there were unexpected layers to the book waiting to be discovered, including a mystery that grew like the ivy in Amy’s wild back garden. I was hooked. I’ve found that a lot of the debuts I’ve read over the last year have been outstanding, and Everything Is Beautiful certainly fits that current mode. Full of pathos, heart, charm and wit, I devoured this book and got lost in Amy’s world. The story is told in dual timelines with flashbacks that are linked to specific items in Amy’s collection. Through these chapters the author tells the story of each item’s meaning to Amy, the memories it evokes and slowly unveils how she became this way piece by piece, each one waiting to be discovered by the reader like one of Amy’s treasures. These flashbacks also give an insight into who Amy used to be; when she was vibrant and happy and just like any other young woman you might meet. "Her house was fairly full, of course, but that was because it was filled to the brim with treasures." But Amy isn’t the only compelling character in this story. The author has created a cast of characters that are all equally important to understanding Amy and her story. I was particularly taken with young Charles and Daniel, the two little boys who have moved in next door to Amy and decided she is their friend. One of the great things about kids is they don’t see the world as adults do and they can see the beauty in a person when adults only see someone weird. I loved seeing Amy through their eyes and how they slowly brought out a different side to her we might not have seen if they hadn’t moved next door. This is an absolute must read. Uplifting, warm and wistful, this is a beautiful story that will linger long after reading and has gone straight onto my forever shelf. It reminded me of a combination of Eleanor Oliphant and The Illustrated Child, which are two other debuts I adore.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Olga Gamer

    "No one travels lightly through life anymore." After the sudden disappearance of her boyfriend and best friend nearly 11 years ago, Amy's home slowly descended into an episode of Hoarders. It began with just a few boxes in the guest room and by the time the reader arrives at present day, the neighborhood association is flagging her for a safety violation for the crumbling chimney. Despite this, she finds herself unable to part with her things. Things never leave you the way people do. But after a "No one travels lightly through life anymore." After the sudden disappearance of her boyfriend and best friend nearly 11 years ago, Amy's home slowly descended into an episode of Hoarders. It began with just a few boxes in the guest room and by the time the reader arrives at present day, the neighborhood association is flagging her for a safety violation for the crumbling chimney. Despite this, she finds herself unable to part with her things. Things never leave you the way people do. But after a family with two young boys moves in next door, Amy's carefully constructed world is upended. After so much time has elapsed, will she allow herself to turn an eye toward the future? Before she can, however, she'll learn the past isn't done with her just yet. I thought this was a good novel and in full disclosure, I am surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. Reviewers have compared it to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which I didn't like as much. The novel has its issues -- a fiction novel turned murder mystery? - but there is something incredibly lovely and engrossing about it. There is a melancholic undercurrent throughout the novel, reminiscent of Miss Benson's Beetle, a book that I enjoyed very much. It is easy to feel for Amy after what has transpired and I thought her addiction was handled with sensitivity and care. An absorbing debut.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This book has been compared to Evie Drake Starts Over which I loved, so I was anticipating this one! It's very different but a heartfelt look at Amy whose boyfriend disappeared elven years ago and hasn't been heard from since. Now Amy (still heartbroken) has become somewhat of a hoarder as she has replaced people with things she knows won't desert her. So of course her neighbors are suspicious as she won't let anyone in her house and appears to be a recluse even though she has a good job. When a This book has been compared to Evie Drake Starts Over which I loved, so I was anticipating this one! It's very different but a heartfelt look at Amy whose boyfriend disappeared elven years ago and hasn't been heard from since. Now Amy (still heartbroken) has become somewhat of a hoarder as she has replaced people with things she knows won't desert her. So of course her neighbors are suspicious as she won't let anyone in her house and appears to be a recluse even though she has a good job. When a new family moves in and the two young boys take a liking to her, we realize things will change. Going back and forth from present to past, the novel shows us Amy's love story with Tim and the things that changed everything for their future. I may have shed a tear or two at the end as it's heartwarming and worth it! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

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