The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

About this book…

I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess . . .

A love he’d never forget

Ex-lawyer Noah has never forgotten his first love. When, years later, he hears that she’s suspected of murder, he knows with certainty that she’s innocent. With April on life-support and the evidence pointing towards her guilt, he’s compelled to help her. But he’s also unprepared as he’s forced to confront what happened between them all those years ago.

A secret she would never reveal

April Moon had loved Noah. She never wanted to hurt him. But there was something – and someone – dark in her life which made happiness together impossible.

A family she could never forgive

Ella is a troubled teenager with her own secrets to tell. But no one will listen. What Ella knows holds the key to finding the killer. But as Noah, April and Ella’s stories converge, shocking revelations come to the surface. The truth is obvious. Or so everyone believes . . .

My review…

I read The Bones of You on my summer hols last year and just loved it. Even though I howled my eyes out at the end, it was a book to give you an uplifting feeling, full of beautifully written prose and emotion. So what better book to start this year’s summer reading bonanza than The Beauty of You. But would it live up to my high expectations…I am happy to admit that it exceeded them big style!

Debbie Howells just writes the most gorgeously descriptive scenes for her characters. They, in themselves, rise off the page as they become so deeply entwined around their stories that they come alive for the reader. I could just visualise them so clearly! Which is amazing really as when we meet April, she is in hospital having taken an overdose and is in a coma, not expected to survive. Her school friend Noah gets a call from his old friend Will to say that April is suspected of a murder committed before she attempted suicide. Noah has always worshipped April, mostly from afar, and calls her a goddess. Now a lawyer, he goes home to Devon to help work out what happened that night.

This is actually a very good example of why you should always give a book a chance before giving up. When I first started the story, it didn’t captivate from the very start like I had expected it to. But the more I read and the deeper I delved into the lives of this group of friends, the more it became a huge obsession to read every single word and solve the mystery of what had happened to April. But the mystery wasn’t the be all and end all of this book as it developed into a beautiful study into obsession, love and loss. It just got better and better with every turn of the page. Every relationship was eventually laid bare and it became the heartbreaking journey that I had been expecting even if the plot hadn’t been! But I absolutely loved the way it unfolded and I read slower and slower as I just didn’t want it to end.

If you love books by authors like Rosamund Lupton then this will be the perfect read for you. Debbie Howells writes so poetically and with so much emotion and she just gets better with every book so I can’t wait to see how she tops this one!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

The Beauty of the End was published on 14th July in the UK by MacMillan and on 26th July in the U.S. by Kensington Books.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.