This review is written with thanks to Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin UK, and Netgalley for my copy of Then. Now. Always.
Twenty eight year old Hannah is a researcher for a television company in London. She is thrilled when her boss, Theo, asks her to join him, cameraman Tom (Hannah's best friend) and presenter Claudette on location in Mojacar in Spain - a place where she has many memories of her teenage years from holidays with her friend, Rachel. Hannah thinks the trip could be the perfect opportunity to spend time with Theo, on whom she has harboured a crush for as long as she can remember, but with the rest of crew around and the unexpected arrival of her half sister Nancy, will Hannah find what she is looking for?
Then. Now. Always is my first experience of Broom's writing. It is not my usual genre, but any unease I felt about venturing into the unknown was immediately quelled by my introduction to Hannah. Hannah is a first person narrator, and there are moments in the novel where I laughed out loud when she retold anecdotes and described her relationships with her friends and family. It is clear from the outset that Hannah is infatuated with Theo, and at times, this did feel slightly unrealistic; however, overall her character is very relatable and this helped to maintain my interest in the novel.
The majority of Then. Now. Always is set in Mojacar, Spain. This is not a place about which I had previously heard, so I was fascinated to read about the history and the myths surrounding the area, which Broom has researched incredibly well. Mojacar is clearly a very beautiful place, and I was captivated by the descriptions of it, and throughout the novel I could imagine myself spending time there and became immersed in the lives of its inhabitants.
When I started reading Then. Now. Always, I had expected a lighthearted novel that was easy to read. Whilst it was easy to read, and elements of it were lighthearted, I was pleasantly surprised that the plot actually runs much deeper than that. It introduces some much more serious themes, and Broom has a way of making the reader consider what is important in their lives.
Overall, Then. Now. Always is a very enjoyable novel, and it will not be the last time I read Broom's work.
Then. Now. Always is published on 20th April and is available from Amazon.