Jack had two dying wishes: that his wife scatter his ashes somewhere ‘exotic’, and that she not give up on life once he was gone.
He intended to spur her on to new adventures, but despite clinging to her red suitcase, Geraldine Verne hasn’t left the house for three months. It takes an accident for Geri to accept help from her friends, but when Meals on Wheels arrive she is mortified.
Yet heartbroken volunteer Lottie brings with her more than cottage pie and custard. Like Geri, she too is struggling to cut loose.
As a gloriously unlikely friendship blossoms, Geraldine begins to feel a long-lost spark of life and a newfound confidence. Perhaps what both women needed most, after all, was each other.
In Geraldine Verne’s Red Suitcase, Jane Riley shows her extraordinary talent for illuminating the million tiny moments which make us human. She is a writer who will make you nod along in recognition, whilst reminding us of the joy, the pain and the rewards of being alive. You will absolutely love this book and I’m recommending it to people who want something to think about as well as a really enjoyable read. If you are after an emotional, thought provoking and wonderfully believable tale, then get this on your summer reading list. I just couldn’t put it down and I know that Geraldine will be one of those characters that I won’t be able to forget…
Am so happy to be on today’s Blog Tour for Geraldine Verne’s Red Suitcase today and it’s an actual tour today because I’m posting this from a break in packing my own suitcase for my long awaited escape to Whitby – And if you’re looking for a great staycation read, then this will definitely do the trick as it’s got a bit of everything
Thank you so much to Lake Union Publishing & FMcM Associates for inviting me on the tour, it has been a great way to kick off my holidays!
I absolutely loved this book. It’s a thought provoking, fascinating and uplifting read that will genuinely draw you into Geraldine’s world and make you feel part of her story as we witness the loneliness and isolation that can flourish when people live alone after a bereavement – It’s wonderful to see her connection with Lottie flourish as we see how much more we have in common than what separates us.
Geraldine was a fantastic character that you can totally believe in. When I was reading about her sense of emptiness and fear after Jack’s death, it’s an easy sentiment to connect with – I’m sure lots of you will have known someone who’s had that feeling when they’ve lost someone who’s their whole world.
” I felt out of kilter, like a crooked painting on the wall, or a cheese straw without paprika. A house with no windows. A dog with one ear. I could go on. I could go to the library and look up section 400-499 English Language to find the perfect metaphor, but would it actually fix anything? I glanced at the clock again. It was still one-thirty. Had the clock stopped? Who knew? All I did know was that I was frozen in time, shackled to my self-pity, my grief, my fears. I was like the ‘i’ in the middle of my name, trapped between other letters, unable to break free. I wanted to be alone, yet I was lonely. I wanted to stay home, yet I felt isolated. I wanted to be with my husband, but he was dead. Tears sprung forth as if I was chopping onions, and my heart flapped so vigorously that, had it been windy outside with no roof over the house, I may have taken off. I couldn’t bear the sight of the clock looming over me, reminding me of my fate, any longer”
Geraldine’s blossoming friendship with Lottie and some of the positive consequences that come from their connection is one of the best things about this book. You will have had lots of these moments yourself where you’ve ended up finding things in common with people you’d never have imagined and this very timely tale does it so much better than most. I love Jane Riley’s writing and there is much here that will resonate here if you are paying attention to some of the narrative around loneliness in contemporary Britain – especially post pandemic.
Even if you haven’t encountered The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock, there is much to love here and you will definitely get caught up in how accurate a portrayal of human relationships this is and how well-observed these characters are – you will not be able to put this down as you will be so caught up with their story and the positive transformation that they bring out in one another.
I loved this book, and if you haven’t read it you definitely should. It’s a book rooted in real human emotion, written by someone who isn’t afraid to dig deep and it shows. It presents a pitch perfect image of the Britain we currently live in and captures the need for human connection so perfectly. Check out the rest of the bloggers on the tour – so you don’t just have to take MY word for it…
Buy yourself a copy here and enjoy this unforgettable read.
Writer On the Shelf
Jane Riley currently lives in Sydney, where she volunteers as an English language tutor for the Adult Migrant English Program.
She began her career in public relations before moving into publishing and later launching an online e-commerce business.
She has freelanced as a writer and editor and wrote a design blog interviewing makers and creators.
Geraldine Verne’s Red Suitcase is her second book, following the success of her first novel The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock.
Twitter ~ @JaneRileyAuthor