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Family for Beginners

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USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with a life-affirming exploration of love, loss, and how families come in all shapes and sizes…

New York florist Flora Donovan is living the dream, but her bubbly optimism hides a secret. She’s lonely. Orphaned as a child, she’s never felt like she’s belonged anywhere…until she meets Jack Parker. He’s the first man to ever really see her, and it’s life changing.

Teenager Izzy Parker is holding it together by her fingertips. Since her mother passed away a year ago, looking after her dad and little sister is the only thing that makes Izzy feel safe. Discovering her father has a new girlfriend is her worst nightmare—she is not in the market for a replacement mom. Then her father invites Flora on their summer vacation…

Flora’s heart aches for Izzy, but she badly wants her relationship with Jack to work. As the summer unfolds, Flora must push her own boundaries to discover parts of herself she never knew existed—and to find the family she’s always wanted.

368 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 26, 2020

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About the author

Sarah Morgan

934 books5,213 followers
About Sarah

USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes romance and contemporary women's fiction and her trademark humour and warmth have gained her fans across the globe. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors.

SNOWED IN FOR CHRISTMAS is out now! Watch out for Sarah's next summer novel, Summer Wedding (UK title)/The Island Villa (US title) coming in May.

Join Sarah on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahM...
Follow Sarah on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahMorgan_
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Follow Sarah on Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/SarahMorgan_/
Website: www.sarahmorgan.com

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 630 reviews
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,599 reviews24.7k followers
February 25, 2020
Sarah Morgan's latest offering features elements of romance, but it is distinctly background material as the nature of family, grief, love and the consequent trials, tribulations and joys of a new blended family are firmly at the forefront. With a florist mother obsessed with flowers, it probably comes as no surprise that she is named Flora, but Flora's life has been shaped by a desperate loneliness since her mother died when she was 8 years old. She was taken in by an cold aunt who never shied from letting her know she was a burden that had disrupted her life. The young and vulnerable Flora tried her desperate best to please her aunt and fit in with her, all to no avail despite the fact Flora spent years caring for her until her death. Like her mother, Flora is a talented florist, yearning to belong and be part of a real family.

However, her dreams seems beyond her reach, that is until the day widower Jack Parker comes in to buy flowers for his 17 year daughter, Izzy. A connection springs up between the two of them as he invites her for coffee, and in time Flora begins to hope that perhaps the impossible just might be hers, but the path to true love and a ready made family is strewn with obstacles. Jack has two daughters, 7 year old Molly and Izzy who has been taking care of her and their home since their mother, Becca, died a year ago. The entire family are still reeling from the long and tenacious fingers of a grief that has held them tightly in its festering grip, but Jack wants Flora to be part of his chaotic family. Whilst Molly slowly unfurls and lets Flora in, Izzy is a much more complicated, a hostile teenager, with her angst, fears, guilt, secrets and grief, determined to make Flora feel like an unwanted outsider.

Flora who has a history of people pleasing by doing what others want is going to have to learn to be comfortable being who she is if she is going to have any chance of belonging to a family she is beginning to love with all her heart as she joins them on their annual 3 week holiday in the Lake District in Britain. Morgan's central protagonist, the bohemian, deeply caring Flora, with her colourful clothes will snag your interest immediately as she embarks on what can often be a minefield and a emotionally rocky affair, that of the creation of a new blended family. This is a lovely and entertaining read that will appeal to many as Morgan once again weaves her magic. Many thanks to HQ for an ARC.
May 21, 2020
With a cover like this one, how can that not set the scene for a great summer read? I love the cover! Family for Beginners does make for a great summer read and doesn't require much from readers expect your favourite place to read it with your favourite beverage.

Family for Beginners explores loss, belonging, acceptance and family in a lighter, more dramatic way this dark emotional reader is used to. It provided an emotional response from me that had me feeling a few emotions for the family in this story.

The characters are all likable yet a little frustrating at times with their ability to create some high drama in the family and to the story. I felt for the characters each looking for acceptance and a place to belong after a loss that changes their world. I cared for them and their conflicts with themselves and each other. Now this family is overflowing with love with each other, and at times the dark reader in me was drowning in it. I think I really need to read more books like this. Lol Even though I found the drama high and at times I wanted it to stop, it felt very realistic, and I couldn’t help but love the characters.

The story wraps up nicely, and I had a feel-good feeling after reading this warm and uplifting story. I recommend for a summer read!!

I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
May 9, 2020
What a gem! Sarah Morgan always writes such beautiful stories that warm my heart. This is such a lovely story about grief, new beginnings, and family dynamics. Flora as always been a little lonely, felt a little like an outsider. Her mother died when she was eight years old and she was sent to live with her Aunt who was more interested in her career than raising Flora. Izzy is 17 and still grieving the death of her mother. When Flora shows up to dinner with her father Jack, Izzy is none too pleased. Hurt and confused, and annoyed that little sister Molly has taken to Flora. Izzy is determined not to allow this interloper into her family. So, what happens when Jack invites Flora onto the family’s summer vacation?

Loved the story! Told from the alternating perspectives of Flora and Izzy, I really got both sides of the story. I really connected to both of these characters and found their grief and desires palpable. Flora really just wanted to belong and Izzy just really wanted to be understood. The first half of the book takes place in New York City and the second-half takes place in the Lake District in the UK. The Lake District was so beautifully described, I really hope I can make it there one day. The second half of the book also brought a third perspective, Claire, Izzy’s mother’s best friend. I really loved Claire’s personality she was so down to earth and kind. There is romance in this book between Jack and Flora. It was a sweet slow burn romance, and I thought that worked perfectly in the story where the focus really was on family. A delightful story that just made me feel good!

This book in emojis 👨‍👧‍👧 🐶 💐 🐎 🛶

*** Big thank you to HQN for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,202 reviews918 followers
May 21, 2020
Flora Donovan is a florist (a florist named Flora, right?) living a single life in New York City but not the one her married and partner-committed friends think she is. She’s very lonely and doesn’t have much of a social life despite her efforts to create one. She’s orphaned and doesn’t even have family to lean into and has a real thirst for being part of one. Then Jack Parker walks into the shop and life changes in that moment for both of them. He’s a widower with two daughters and it’s the first time in the year since his wife died that he’s had any interest in pursuing a relationship. Sounds like the perfect start to a wonderful union, right? Not so fast says 17-year old Izzy Parker who’s been the caretaker of her father, little sister and home and is resistant to being replaced.

One of the reasons Sarah Morgan has become one of my auto read authors is because she is so skilled at getting family dynamics right...the good, the bad and the reality. She doesn’t miss here as she combines the pleaser Flora with the in-charge Izzy and throws them at the in-denial Jack. All three of them are wonderful people in their own rights but Izzy’s insecurities related to her losing the role she stepped into following her mother’s death makes things almost toxic. Unfortunately, it’s all covered by a veneer of politeness that gives Jack cover to not see a thing. It would be easy to make Izzy the villain but that’s not how I interpreted the character, which is fine writing because she could be deliberately cruel at times. When Jack decides to keep their summer holiday travel tradition with his deceased wife’s best friend and invites Flora to join them, well, you can almost picture the ensuing train wrecks.

I loved this story and came to appreciate Flora, Jack and Izzy for who they really were, not for how they sometimes showed up. Each showed growth as they found themselves in difficult situations and made imperfect choices out of love. It wasn’t as predictable as I’d anticipated as I was prepared to make Izzy the villain and see her get her comeuppance. I had real empathy for all of them and admired Flora for stepping up and not giving in to her old patterns of past behavior. I listened to the book and had to remind myself that there was only one narrator as she distinguished the characters so vividly and distinctively. She delivered a fine performance and I’d be happy to listen to other books she’s narrated. This was a wonderful story about a family trying to find their blend following a tragedy. It reeks of authenticity.

Posted on Blue Mood Café

(Thanks to Harlequin Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)
Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,036 reviews1,747 followers
May 18, 2020
Favorite Quotes:

Clare was so far out of her comfort zone she couldn’t have found her way back with a compass or SatNav.

Her mother had always emphasized that life was what you made of it, but Flora couldn’t help thinking that what you made depended on the raw ingredients you were given. Even the best chef couldn’t do much with moldy vegetables.

A teenager is a unique and unpredictable animal. They adapt to their surroundings… Which, now that I think about it, is probably the definition of a virus, too. Go figure. Even after they leave home you feel the aftereffects.

“We’ve kissed. And it is always amazing, and stop looking at me like that because frankly kissing him was better than any sex I ever had.” “You must have had terrible sex.”

Life is too short to fill it with friends who don’t care about you or bring you joy… But bad friends are like the old clothes in your closet. They’re the stained shirt, the sweater with the hole in it, the dress that no longer fits. They have no place and should be cleared out.”

My Review:

I’ve read several of her books now and have decided that Sarah Morgan is one of my favorite authors of all time. I simply adore her. She writes with astounding agility from multiple POVs and covers relevant and relatable issues with a lively and uncanny level of skill yet her tales are well-balanced with humor, angst, tragedy, perceptive awareness, and observant insights on all sides. Family For Beginners was a slowly evolving and well-nuanced tale that was heavy on family drama while a new romance was blossoming for a widower with children and a timid yet sensitive and eager to please florist. The storylines were multifaceted with complex yet endearing characters who were struggling to find their place and establish their own roles within their newly formed dynamic.
Profile Image for Books Just 4 Me.
306 reviews51 followers
March 6, 2020
3.5⭐️Flora was seeking someone to love her, accept her and include her. She was craving the family life she missed out on as a child. She meets Jack, a widower, with two children who are still very much grieving their mother. They fall for each other but have to overcome barriers to stay together. For the first half of the book, Flora’s character was like-able but frustrating since she was defined by her people-pleasing personality. This was a slow burn romance focusing much more on family dynamics and growing individually as well as within a family. Told from three perspectives, the story unfolded nicely and I felt more engaged in the second half. Flora found her inner voice and starting taking charge of her life. The relationships within Jack’s family and Clare’s Family were well built. The lake home was beautifully described and made me quite envious. I felt I didn’t have a good grasp on Jack and Floras relationship. They were very close, yet not deep, and we didn’t witness them having any real conversations before their trip to Clare’s lake home. That part was missing for me to feel more attached to them as a couple. I felt the rest of the relationships were much more well defined. Izzy and Molly were lovely daughters with a well built tight bond. I enjoyed this and recommend it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin-Romance for the chance to read this and offer my own opinion.
Profile Image for Nicola.
1,393 reviews243 followers
February 22, 2020
Sarah Morgan takes us on a rollercoaster of love, loss, grief and new beginnings in her latest offering and it was very much a case of perseverance through the earlier chapters paying dividends.

description Life is like a garden, don’t you think? Sometimes glorious, and sometimes a disaster. It’s messy, but always real.”

Flora is a bit of a loner, a beautiful soul who simply yearns to love and be loved, something that becomes a reality when she meets widower, Jack adjusting to life as a single dad to a stroppy teen, Izzy and sweet seven year-old, Molly. Resentful of the fact that her dad has brought Flora into their fold, Izzy doesn’t make life easy—I can’t deny her attitude rubbed me up the wrong way as did Jack being completely oblivious to her games—but when he and Molly suggests Flora joins them in the Lake District for their annual holiday (much to Izzy’s disgust), this story came into its own.

description We can handle anything life throws at us if we do it together.”

As we leave the hustle and bustle of Manhattan for the serene, beautiful backdrop of the Lake District along with the introduction of Jack’s friends, Clare, Todd and their teenage son, Aiden, things begin to shift as Flora is simply Flora doing her best to fit in, whilst Clare, although welcoming, struggles with the change in dynamic to their group. And it’s this which leads to us seeing just how strong and selfless Flora is as secrets are revealed and walls come down.

description ...you’re like an oasis of sunshine in an otherwise dark and stormy life.”

Sarah Morgan has once again penned an emotional journey between real, flawed individuals which leaves your heart happy and reminds you that whilst life isn’t always easy, the right person can make it easier.

Copy received courtesy of HQ via NetGalley for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,727 reviews6,662 followers
May 9, 2020
A beautiful story about the complexities of family, friendship and grief. I loved this book. A must read for fans of women's fiction.

My favorite quote:
"Life is like a garden, don't you think? Sometimes glorious, and sometimes a disaster. It's messy, but always real. And sometimes all we can do is forge ahead, and if that means flattening a few daisies on the way, then so be it."
Profile Image for Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader.
1,103 reviews130 followers
May 16, 2020
This was a slow read for me. It was a good story with some romance and some drama and a little bit of sadness due to loss. I'm glad that I picked up a copy. I just wished that I had connected with the characters.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,149 reviews193 followers
June 30, 2020
A FAMILY FOR BEGINNERS has got to be the best feel good story I have read in a long time. Flora Donovan works in a floral shop and is extremely lonely but no one knows this about her. Flora has no family. Her mom died when she was young and she was brought up by her aunt. An aunt who made it clear that she wasn’t really wanted. Then Flora meets Jack. Jack has lost his wife, the saintly Becca, who is everything Flora is not. His children are afraid Flora is trying to take their mother’s place. Well Izzy is anyway. The relationship begins to grow between Jack and Flora and things move forward quickly. Jack insists that Flora join them on their family holiday in the Lake District in England. Izzy sure knows how to push Flora’s buttons! Hang on to your seats, it’s a crazy rollercoaster ride!

I have only read Sarah Morgan once before but after reading A FAMILY FOR BEGINNERS I know I will be reading everything by her that I can get my hands on. She hooked me from the very first page. I found myself totally absorbed in this story and I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters within this heart tugging story. I found all of the characters very real and relatable and it was interesting to read how they are all dealing with their grief in very different ways and it takes a summer away to try and help them.

A FAMILY FOR BEGINNERS has it all, romance, grief, great dialogue, and awesome characters. Once I started reading, it was very hard to stop! I have made it a quest to catch up on the rest of Sarah’s books because her writing is just that good. She makes her readers feel every emotion her characters are feeling to the point where you feel as if you are right there, struggling along with them. My emotions were on a wild roller coaster ride from the first page all the way until the very end. At first I really tried to read it slowly and make it last, but soon I was so caught up in everyone’s lives and business, I was flipping the pages like a mad woman.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Nicoletta Micillo.
493 reviews28 followers
September 14, 2021
Sarah Morgan mi sorprende sempre su come riesce a farmi attaccare alle pagine pur raccontando storie semplici . Lo fa però in modo così delicato da farti provare subito empatia con i suoi personaggi. Consigliato
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,040 reviews3,436 followers
April 24, 2020
I swear, Sarah Morgan is one of the best authors out there for characterization! She weaves together these interesting and well-paces stories with characters who feel like real people and go on journeys of personal growth and love. Family for Beginners is no different. I loved everything about it.

Flora is a single woman with a traumatic past who has always tried to form herself into a person other people will love, but with little success. She's orphaned and lonely, longing for a real family. Until the day Jack walks into the flower shop where she works and she finally finds someone she can be herself with. Jack is a widower with two daughters, one of them a teenager holding lots of pain and anger tightly inside. Introducing Flora into the mix threatens her shaky sense of security and causes her to throw up walls. Can the family come together in love and healing or will grief and secrets tear them apart?

All of the characters in the book (including Jacks wife Becca who isn't even alive!) feel thoughtfully drawn and fully fleshed out. Flora is on a journey toward bravery and vulnerability that will allow her to love and be loved, and other characters are growing as well. This has a beautiful picture of love, family, forgiveness, true intimacy, and allowing others to be imperfect. Highly recommend reading this and any other books by her really! I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Elisabetta Veneziani.
714 reviews31 followers
July 29, 2021
Una storia bellissima, in puro stile Morgan, che ho letto veramente con piacere ❤️
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,817 reviews170 followers
August 11, 2020
Poignant, sweet, and undeniably heartwarming!

Family for Beginners is an evocative, captivating tale that delves into the complex bonds and emotional ties between family members and immerses you in a tale about confronting the past, accepting the things you cannot change, following your heart, learning to trust, and embracing the future.

The prose is smooth and polished. The characters are lonely, sorrowful, and conflicted. And the story is an exceptionally absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, adultery, acceptance, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, teenage angst, loneliness, communication, contentment and romance.

Overall, Family for Beginners is a beautiful mix of heart, happiness, and hope. And it’s no secret that Sarah Mogan is one of my favourite authors, and once again with this moving, emotive, affecting tale she didn’t disappoint.

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rachel Gilbey.
2,755 reviews494 followers
May 3, 2020
Wonderful story about love and family relationships.

Another absolutely cracking read from Sarah Morgan, I still don't think I've read a book by her that I haven't loved, and this is cream of the crop.

I read the prologue just before I went to bed, and it definitely had me intrigued, and keen to read more once I was more awake. And then the next time I picked up the book the following lunchtime, I read about half in one sitting which should give an indicator on how absorbed I was in the writing, that I really didn't want to put the book down.

The story is told from two, well occasionally three perspectives, the main ones being Flora and Izzy.

Flora has fallen for Jack, who was widowed less than a year ago and has two children, 7 year old Molly and 17 year old Izzy. She didn't mean to fall for him but she has, but can she compete with the dead wife who appears perfect, and will the kids accept her.

It's Izzy's point of view that I found fabulous, she clearly was hiding things, and feeling things very deeply, is trying to be the perfect older sister to Molly, and felt like she was in ways old before her years. Yet as the story progresses you see many sides to this complicated character.

The first half of the book is set in New York, just setting the scene, the dynamics etc.. and then the second half is in Jack's family's regular holiday spot in the Lake District that sounded incredibly scenic.It is also with his dead wife's best friend Clare, and her family, and they are all family friends; It was interesting to see how they all coped with their first holiday without Becca, but with Flora, and its where the book kicked up another notch.

With assorted hidden secrets to be revealed, nothing is as simple as it seems.

This is a story of new relationships, for Flora to learn how to be part of a family, about friendships and its just an incredibly heartwarming book.

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for this copy which i have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Profile Image for Francesca.
2,064 reviews146 followers
May 17, 2021
Le livre tient davantage du roman féminin que de la romance. Les femmes ont un rôle remarquable et leur psychologie est bien décrite. Par contre le héros aveugle et centré sur lui-même n’est pas à son avantage.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,478 reviews900 followers
May 6, 2020
This was an engaging book about blended families, the longing for family, and the realization that no families are perfect.

Flora is a florist (ha!) who meets a handsome guy one day as he comes into the shop where she works to buy flowers for his daughters. He's a widower, and they start spending time together. Before long, she's his girlfriend and meeting his two daughters.

Flora doesn't think she knows anything about families, as she was orphaned as a child. She certainly doesn't know anything about being a stepmother. Jack's former wife seemed to be perfect, and that's intimidating too. Jack's teenage daughter Izzy is still angry about the loss of her mother.

All of them will learn a lot about family and love.

Really enjoyed this one and will look for more books by this author.

Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram!

Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
Profile Image for Monique Takens.
498 reviews5 followers
January 1, 2022
Is there a better way to end an old year and begin a new one than reading a Sarah Morgan book ?!
All the characters in this book feel as real people and they became alive in my mind while reading this story .
Profile Image for Debbie.
911 reviews85 followers
June 9, 2020
Flora Donovan has her ideal job, as a florist but her bubbly exterior hides her true loneliness. Then one day she meets Jack Parker and her life begins to change. the Only hurdle, his teenage daughter Izzy, who doesn't really want her father finding another woman yet, after the loss of her mother. When Jack starts seeing Flora then invites her on their summer holiday, things really take off. 
Oh goodness!! This was another fabulous story by Sarah Morgan. I just love her writing style, the emotional attachment she provides to the characters and the way she unfolds the events that enable you to understand the characters backgrounds. Such a beautiful family drama.
Profile Image for Katie.
2,665 reviews144 followers
June 6, 2020
2020 Ripped Bodice Bingo: I'm on a Boat

Oh, I really enjoyed this, which is especially nice since the last few Morgans have been so so-so for me. But this got the emotion of everything down really well. There was too much drawing out the big "secret," but this basically feels like a token complaint for me and book these days, sigh.

Content warning:
Profile Image for Alessandra.
189 reviews1 follower
September 27, 2021
Con la Morgan si va sul sicuro. Le sue storie sono sempre piacevoli e accattivanti, la sua scrittura molto scorrevole e le storie, anche se ripercorrono plot già visti e sentiti, riescono comunque a coinvolgere.
Stavolta non è solo frizzante, tante emozioni intense di sottofondo.
Una storia che parla non solo di amore, ma di accettazione e che, in alcuni frangenti ho trovato anche commovente. Ambientazione come sempre super curata.
Profile Image for Hannah.
456 reviews96 followers
July 2, 2020
Two of my favourite locations in one book New York and the Lake District. The story flows nicely and takes you through the highs and lows of a modern family with many twists and turns along the way.
Profile Image for Silvia Devitofrancesco.
Author 14 books123 followers
July 31, 2021
Recensione presente nel blog www.ragazzainrosso.wordpress.com
Flora Donovan, fioraia sempre solare e positiva, nasconde dietro il sorriso di facciata un profondo senso di solitudine. Quando il destino le farà incontrare Jack Parker, un uomo attento e premuroso, è convinta di aver finalmente raggiunto la tanto sospirata felicità. Jack, tuttavia, è alle prese con complesse dinamiche familiari. Dopo la morte della moglie, ha dovuto prendere in mano le redini della famiglia e vivere con una ragazzina e una bambina non è affatto facile. Flora e Izzy, la figlia maggiore di Jack e sicuramente la più “problematica” tra le due, hanno in comune più di quanto possano immaginare e una vacanza nel Lake Districte, meta abituale dei Parker, servirà alle due per mettersi a nudo, rivelando debolezze e fragilità, trovando reciprocamente la forza necessaria per andare avanti creando nuovi equilibri.

“La vita somiglia a un giardino, non ti pare? A volte è splendida, a volte un disastro. Complicata, ma sempre autentica. In alcuni casi non si può fare altro che andare avanti a testa bassa, anche a costo di calpestare qualche margherita lungo il cammino.”

Questo nuovo romanzo di Sarah Morgan un po’ si discosta dal suo genere abituale. Tra queste pagine, infatti, accanto al puro romance grandissimo spazio viene dato alle dinamiche familiari e, soprattutto, all’elaborazione del lutto.

Flora ha perso la madre quando era molto piccola. Ha vissuto con una zia poco affettuosa nei suoi confronti e ha sperimentato da sempre il dramma della solitudine che l’ha resa fragile e insicura nonostante la solarità che manifesta continuamente e che l’ha resa amabile agli occhi delle sue clienti.

Izzy ha perso la madre da adolescente, convive con un segreto che la opprime e annega il suo dolore comportandosi come una piccola adulta. La giovane, infatti, alle serate con le amiche preferisce prendersi cura della sorellina e occuparsi della casa cosicché le esistenze della piccola e del padre siano il più serene possibili.

L’arrivo di Flora è uno squilibrio di questo nuovo assetto familiare già di per sé assai precario. Se da un lato la donna viene vista come un’intrusa da mandar via il prima possibile dall’altra sarà proprio la fioraia a rendersi conto di quello che sta accadendo e del disagio che sta provando Izzy, la quale, proprio come lei, nasconde abilmente dietro atteggiamenti di facciata un profondo senso di dolore.

Flora e Izzy insieme troveranno la forza di guardare avanti chiudendo i conti col passato che non significa cancellarlo ma accettarlo, convivere col ricordo senza farsi del male per quanto è accaduto. Insieme scopriranno che la felicità non è preclusa, che si può ancora essere sereni nonostante quello che è successo e che i nuovi incontri possono essere la giusta medicina per scoprire lati di sé che non si credevano di possedere.

Lo stile della prosa è semplice e delicato. L’autrice è affronta tematiche complesse con profondo rispetto e umanità facendo leva sui sentimenti, com’è sua consuetudine. Ottima è l’ambientazione con il paesaggio lacustre che rende la narrazione ancor più incisiva.

Il lettore è ampiamente coinvolto dagli eventi e non può che provare empatia nei confronti delle due protagoniste.

Un romanzo familiare nel senso più ampio del termine. Una lettura profonda, sì dolorosa ma con un’enorme dose di speranza.
Profile Image for Kathryn in FL.
716 reviews
September 27, 2020
This a pleasurable lighthearted read. I don't know about you but sometimes I just need a nice story with a happy ending to cleanse my reading palate. Lately, I have been turning more to this heartwarming genre to lift my mood. This did its job delightfully.

Flora is a bit of a recluse, who adores flowers and works as a florist bringing joy to others. Jack and she meet at the Florist where she works and things start to sizzle. Jack lost his wife to a brain aneurysm a year prior and he is captivated by Flora. Likewise she is taken by this pleasant, handsome man, who seems like every woman's fantasy. He's got money and he's smart and oh, he has a ready made family. This doesn't phase Flora to much. She loves children and she is nearly idolized by young Molly at age 7. However, Izzy, the 17 year old daughter, is not impressed! She is angry at Flora for her invasion, preferring the status quo. Flora is a determined woman, who is up for the challenge of dealing with Izzy's backstabbing and hateful comments. Jack doesn't even seem to notice and rarely even comments at these missiles, she lobs at Flora. Soon enough however, things take a big turn, when the family goes on vacation and Flora is invited.

I loved the family dynamics. The issues Flora and Izzy face are very plausible and though I think Flora is seems to stretch beyond her character traits, it was a "funny journey" nonetheless. I liked how charmed Flora was with Molly and vice versa. I can see that dynamic easily as well. Jack is just a little bit to perfect but eventually we realize that he has some insecurities as well which lead to both misunderstanding and challenges too.

I think those who like chick lit will find this a great feel good story to spend a nice fall/winter night by the fire or heater (if that's your situation). You'll find yourself smiling as each character grows to meet her (his) new challenges. I may explore more stories by Ms. Morgan in the future. Enjoy!
Profile Image for Sonia Donelli.
2,513 reviews59 followers
August 25, 2021

Una vacanza sul lago di Sarah Morgan, contemporary romance in uscita oggi, 15 luglio, grazie a HarperCollins.

Amo la Morgan perché non è mai banale e scontata e ha uno stile unico, inimitabile. Insieme a Susan Elizabeth Phillips per me è la signora del romance perché sa parlare con garbo ed eleganza di qualsiasi argomento e far accettare anche situazioni che potrebbero far storcere il naso a qualcuno. Ma lei no, lei sa mettere d’accordo tutti, sa parlare al cuore delle persone e far innamorare delle sue splendide protagoniste. Anche in questo caso la narrazione è tutta al femminile, abbiamo tre punti di vista, Clare, Flora e Izzy, ma non pensate che gli uomini non abbiano la loro importanza, sono fondamentali, perché dietro a una grande donna c’è sempre un uomo che sa stare al suo fianco.

Mi sono affezionata a tutte le protagoniste, ho compreso le loro perplessità, mi sono sentita affine a ognuna di loro, ho capito le reticenze e i comportamenti ‘ostili’, mi sono sentita parte di questa storia dalla prima all’ultima pagina e non ho potuto fare a meno di notare quanto le donne siano il motore di tutto.

la recensione prosegue sul blog
Profile Image for Shalini.
2,506 reviews199 followers
June 14, 2020
Sarah Morgan's books are special. I waited for a special day to read and review this.

Emotions seeped into the words as each of the characters show their side of the story. There was a bit of mystery too as the story started with Jack's wife's best friend reading and burning up a letter with a secret which was linked well later.

The story then moved on to Flora who was Jack's new love and her adjustment with his children. Trials and tribulations dogged her steps as she tried to find her place in the family.

The writing was powerful. The feeling of grief and loss, happiness and laughter slowly made the prose come alive. Every word written was magical as they pulled me deep into the story.

A brilliant read.
Profile Image for Bogstoetten Elfie.
455 reviews30 followers
April 19, 2022
4,5 stjerner

Jeg er vild med Sarah Morgans bøger, og denne var ingen undtagelse. Det er en smuk og rørende feelgood-fortælling om sorg, kærlighed, familie, tilhørsforhold og hemmeligheder. Forfatteren skriver virkelig godt og med stor indlevelse, så det har været umuligt for mig at holde både smil og tårer tilbage. Hendes karakterer er helstøbte og realistiske, så det er nemt at se dem for sig.

I det indledende kapitel får man et hint om en hemmelighed, som man så kan begynde at gætte sig frem til igennem de næste mange kapitler. Hemmelighederne bliver langsomt afsløret hen mod slutningen, og en af dem overraskede mig.

Historien bliver fortalt kapitelvis af tre forskellige fortællere – blomsterhandleren Flora, teenageren Izzy og Izzys tante Clare. Flora og Izzy fortæller næsten hele historien, mens Clare kun har nogle få kapitler. Det fungerer godt at få historien fra de forskellige vinkler, så lærer man karaktererne rigtigt godt at kende og forstår, hvorfor de handler, som de gør.
Jeg er stor fan af Flora. Hun er et menneske med et stort hjerte, der tilsidesætter sig selv og forsøger at gøre alle glade og tilpasse. Hun udvikler sig igennem bogen, og det er fedt at følge.

Hvis du elsker forfattere som Lucinda Riley, Jojo Moyes, Jenny Colgan og Kimberley Freeman, er denne bog lige noget for dig.
Profile Image for Kate Olson.
2,186 reviews724 followers
May 7, 2020
(free review copy) Oh, I just loved this one! I've read almost everything that Morgan has written and this was one of my favorites. I loved the romance and the family back stories and the friendship storylines and the settings. ALL OF IT. I inhaled the book in one afternoon/evening :-)
Profile Image for Kris - My Novelesque Life.
4,642 reviews190 followers
May 23, 2020
2020; HQN/Harlequin

I will admit when I first started Family for Beginners I wasn’t sure I would love it. Flora, a florist, (love it!) seemed so weak as the love story with widower, Jack. We didn’t get the moments they started to fall in love, and I felt like it was rushed. Flora is soon meeting Jack’s two daughters. That is where the story grew for me and I melted into the story. The love story was the main plot, it was the story of Flora and Izzy (Jack’s 17 year old daughter) learning what a true family could be. Flora’s compliant nature, and Izzy’s rigidity are both stemming from their mother/daughter relationships. As the two get to know one another they realize they just might have more in common then they thought. I kept reading this novel as I loved the other two books I read by the author. It did not disappoint. I enjoy the realism of the plots and characters. They are strictly romance stories but love stories of families. I recommend this one for a summer read!

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
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