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The House That Alice Built

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4.47  ·  Rating details ·  19 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Home is where the heart is …
Alice Dorothy Matthews is sensible. Whilst her best friend Kathy is living it up in Portugal and her insufferable ex Adam is travelling the world, Alice is working hard to pay for the beloved London house she has put her heart and soul into renovating.
But then a postcard from Buenos Aires turns Alice’s life upside down. One very unsensible deci
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Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by Ruby Fiction
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4.47  · 
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 ·  19 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Julie
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The House That Alice Built by Chris Penhall is a 2019 Ruby Fiction publication.

A lovely tale full of inspiration and warmth!

After Alice’s boyfriend, Adam, leaves her to take a personal sabbatical, she is left with the sole responsibility of paying for the home they bought together. Alice loves the house and has worked hard to make it a home. Meanwhile, her spontaneous best friend, Kathy, keeps pressuring Alice to forget Adam and come visit her in Portugal. Alice always demurs, but when her ord
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Frankie (Chicks, Rogues and Scandals)
What a wonderful debut from an author who I am sure is going to have a long and fruitful career full of more glorious words, which I am looking forward to reading more of. This is a very real and uplifting story about a sensible but very relatable woman, this is one of those books that no matter who you are or where you are in your life, you will feel a real kinship to it, Alice could be you, a friend or a family member her story is one that is pretty normal and that anyone could find themselves ...more
Els
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
We start in London but soon we arrive in sunny Portugal together with Alice.

You feel, straight away, the change in atmosphere. London is all about work and in Portugal the way of life is totally different. Of course you have to work everywhere, but when you can do it in the sun and finally be able to do what you really like, it’s like two different worlds.

This story is about running away in order to avoid facing what you should be facing and trying to find peace in your head. You can try to esca
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Amanda
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beachy, romance
I really enjoyed this romance with a vacation-y, coastal theme! Main character Alice is going through a tough time, still dealing with the end of a relationship and a career, as she sets out to visit her best friend Kathy in Portugal. She gets to stay in Paradise, as she's often reminded during her indefinite holiday, and meets some wonderful new friends... and of course some not-so-wonderful acquaintances. I liked that Alice's character has depth and realistic qualities: loyal, responsible, and ...more
Isobel McIlwraith
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Portugal is definately one of the stars of this story. Alice is a genuine heroine who has done what she should do for a long time, and is now trying to do what she wants to do. It is hard for her to make these changes but she does, and makes new, supportive friends who encourage and help her. Her ex, who turns up, is wonderfuly self-obsessed and he deserves everything he does (or does not ) get. The story is full of great characters and light-hearted moments. Choc-Lit really found a star for Rub ...more
Isabelle D
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed following Alice as she arrived in Portugal determined not to let the problems she left behind in London ruin her much needed, open-ended holiday. The story has serious moments, positive (when Alice rediscovers the happier person she once was) or not (when the problems inevitably catch up with her), but also funny scenes, some of which involving a cat, a dog (with an owner Alice finds charming in spite of his "reputation") or a mysterious kind of herbal tea.

I received an advance
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Anne
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Chris Penhall is a worthy winner of Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition with a brilliant debut novel. Chris manages to weave a magical story. When Alice’s life is turned upside down, she visits her best friend in Portgual. The ultimate sensible girl, it is time for her to let her hair down and go with the flow and rediscover her artistic talents. All this, and more, she does in some style. I loved the story, the characters and the plot and can’t wait for Chris’s next novel. The ultimate fee ...more
Gill
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I did enjoy this book – my idea of a traditional, clean romance, with a lovely happy ending. I believe it proves that it is completely unnecessary to ‘pad’ out a story by describing any sexual act in minute detail – I am happy to close the bedroom door as they kiss…. Alice is at an unhappy place in her life, so she goes to Portugal to visit her friend, Kathy. Here she meets several very nice men, including Luis. I found myself reading more quickly to get to the happy end – I didn’t want to put i ...more
Ruth
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Total escapism for the reader.

An uplifting tale about Alice finding her true self after being a wage slave for years. Extremely well written, this captures the delightful atmosphere of Portugal, the sunshine, blue skies, golden sands and friendly locals.
Alice soon immerses herself in Portuguese life, making new friends and discovering a way to slow down and smell the lavender.

There should to be a warning on the book cover: reading this will seriously encourage the user to change their way of li
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Yvonne Greene
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read from start to finish. Characters you feel connected with in a luscious setting - put your feet up and enjoy! Great first novel from this author!
Caro
Aug 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Very easy story, not that much going on. Alice and now ex-boyfriend Adam bought a house in London but he’s traveling the world and Alice has been paying the mortgage for the last ten years. When Adam wants to sell ‘their’ house, Alice freaks out and leaves for Portugal. Because when she’s not around he cannot sell the house, right?
Alice visits her friend Kathy in Portugal and she can stay in the house of one of the residents there. Alice does a good job of running from her problems by avoiding
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Barbara
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely romance, set mainly in Portugal. The story starts in uk buts moves overseas when Alice is made redundant. Her back story has shaped her but the move and her new and old friends help her to move on and the old Alice gradually reappears. Her relationship with Luis is not an easy one as both have a lot of baggage. There is also the cultural and language difficulties to be dealt with. Portugal is well portrayed and the characters believable. I was rooting for Alice to see what her f ...more
Janette
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, a lovely uplifting story about finding yourself. Well written with excellent characterisation, I loved Alice and was rooting for her throughout the book. I loved the setting in Portugal and would like to visit the square to see the lovely blue skies, sunshine and meet the locals. This is a story of running away to escape reality.

A perfect feel good summer romance but also to be enjoyed on a cold, wet afternoon on the sofa.

Thank you to Choc Lit for the opportunity to
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thewoollygeek
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a lovely summer read, it begins in London with Alice, whom I adore, she was the perfect character, perfect in the sense I think everyone could relate to her. Chris’s writing is so good that she takes you on the journey with Alice, you root for her, as she becomes more independent and decisive, more fun loving and free. I think we all need to become a bit more Alice, a wonderful read and well written.

Thanks to the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
jill jones
rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2019
Judith Dawson
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2019
Sophia Melin
rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2019
Vibliophile
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(4.5 stars) - delightfully different

I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting when I started this book, but this wasn't it. Alice is a woman who has been stuck in grief for a long time. Not really for a lost love, so much as for a lost self.

Her ex used her & then took off. Leaving her with a mortgage. That they had signed together. So she was stuck making the payments by herself. Since she still loved the house even while being very over the boyfriend, she put in the struggle to meet the pa
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Mrs Maureen Webb
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it

A really geat story couldn't put it down.it kept me interested all the way through.
So many good charcters to follow.
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Chris Penhall is the winner of the Choc-Lit Search for a Star competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, with her debut novel, The House That Alice Built.

Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio as well as an Associate Producer of the Richard and Judy Book Club Podcast. She also works on an ad hoc basis doing PR and communications for a hospice and compiles a charities
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