Friday, April 26, 2024

Blog Tour: A Single Act of Kindness by Samantha Tonge


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 I have read a number of Samantha Tonge's books now and the most recent ones are often interesting, issues based reads. This time, one of the issues was kind of close to home for me.

Tilda lives a very tidy, very organised life, and not just because she runs a cleaning business. Everything in her life is compartmentalized. She knows exactly what she is going to have for dinner on any given day of the week. Everything in her house has it's very specific place, at least in the public rooms.  Her routine is very regimented

It is therefore out of character when she invites a homeless man named Milo to stay at her home, just for a couple of days, to recover from some injuries that he gained when he was mugged whilst living on the streets.

Milo has an unfortunate backstory as to exactly how he is on the streets. He has good job references, but to get a job you need an address so he is in a vicious cycle. 

Having someone in her house other than her very distant cat Dettoll is actually very confronting for Tilda. She is very independent. She is estranged from her mother and brother (her mother is a real piece of work), and she doesn't seem to have any real interpersonal relationships. She focusses on her business and her routine, oh and a budding online relationship with a Frenchman named Yves. After being treated very badly by her last boyfriend, Tilda wants to prove that she can be loved. She has set herself a goal and she is determined to meet it. I was a bit worried about this aspect, about whether Tilda could see the red flags or if she is just so determined to meet her goal that she was blind to them.

The longer Milo stays, the more Tilda's routines are challenged, and she doesn't like it, because that routine is what has helped her stay on track over the years. It causes conflict, but it also brings positive change. For example, Milo has some business acumen and he really challenges her to think bigger when it comes to her business. He also challenges her to maybe let down some of the barriers that she has spent so long building, especially when it comes to her estranged brother.

If you are looking for light and fluffy, this is not that book. The way that Tilda feels she needs to protect herself comes from years of trauma, and for some of those years she used the bottle to help with coping, or at least masking the pain. You have to respect her commitment to her coping mechanisms, to knowing what works for her. And whether by changing those routines it might have unintended consequences to her sobriety.

I mentioned that one of these issues was a bit close to home for me. My dad was an alcoholic who managed to stay sober for more than 40 years before he passed last year, and yet he talked about still needing to actively work on making good decisions all that time. He definitely relied on AA to help get him through over those years and didn't like it when he could no longer go to meetings.There are also other family members who struggle with alcohol. I guess you could say that we definitely have addictive traits in our family. Mine relates to food.

Whilst this is a serious book, it still is uplifting. The idea that just one single act of kindness sets in motion a whole series of decisions and choices, and can lead to such fundamental changes for both parties is inspiring

I am sharing this review with the New Release Challenge hosted at The Chocolate Lady's Book Reviews and British Isles Friday hosted at Joy's Book Blog. Be sure to check out other stops on the blog tour and see what they have to say about this book.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and Rachel's Random Resources for the review copy.

Rating 4/5

About the Book

A Single Act of Kindness

Meet Tilda Wright…

Tilda has done everything she can to make her life neat, protected, tidy. No longer the girl who was scared of everything, whose family pushed her away, who hit rock bottom. Now she runs her life – as she does her successful business – with the utmost organization. As long as she keeps everyone at arm’s length, she will be fine. She will be safe.

But then a chance encounter with a man who’s fallen on hard times changes everything. Milo needs a break, and self-contained Tilda surprises herself by deciding she should help him. Just for a while. A few days at the most.

Maybe all he needs is someone to organize him, to help him clean up his act? She is sure she knows how to kick-start Milo into turning his life around.

What Tilda doesn’t know is that – with this single act of kindness – it might actually be her own life that’s about to change forever…

Purchase Link

About the Author

Samantha Tonge is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 15 romantic fiction titles published by HQ, and most recently Aria. Her first book for Boldwood, Under One Roof, was published in February 2022 and her move to Boldwood marks a broadening of her writing into multi-generational woman’s fiction. She lives in Manchester with her family.

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