The Charity of Strangers
By Alison Burke
What it’s about?
You can find almost anything in a charity shop, but can you find love?
You can certainly find friendship and there is both laughter and tears ahead when 19yr old Zaffron, lonely, anxious and without direction, meets Blaire Daintry, good-looking, charming, and gay.
Both volunteers in the charity shop, he has a hidden agenda, she has secrets, but they are friends from the start, despite Blaire’s constant sparring with Ida, the stern, good-hearted older
volunteer who Zaffron admires. And perhaps Ida has secrets too.
Together with other victims of the city’s housing crisis, Blaire and Zaffron set up a safe and happy home. Secure at last, she tells him of the dreadful incident in her childhood that has marred
her life, but not even his total acceptance gives her the confidence to start a relationship with an attractive and decent young army sergeant who falls in love with her.
Is it fear of the truth coming out that holds her back? Or is there some other reason, buried too deep in her heart for her to recognise?
What I think:
This is such a sad yet heartwarming story.
From the opening chapter I was completely engaged with Zaffy’s story.
What brings a young girl to steal from a charity shop?
Desperate to stop her own ragged jacket being thrown away, she panics and volunteers to work there.
Over the next days and weeks, Zaffron, recovering from drug addiction and an eating disorder, begins to regain her confidence, make friends and find the strength to make positive changes in her life.
Fellow volunteer Blaire is working through issues of his own and becomes Zaffy’s ally, helping her in ways big and small.
All the volunteers at the charity shop are searching for something: confidence; friendship; responsibility. The whole cast of characters have interesting and poignant stories.
This book is filled with sadness and some horrific things have happened in the past, but the overwhelming feeling the reader has is hope. There is power in community and strength in trusting relationships.
This is a moving and emotional story that reminds the reader of the importance of kindness.
If you want to read The Charity of Strangers use the links below:
UK – click here
US – click here
About the author:
I was born and grew up in Lancashire, gained several nursing qualifications and had the privilege of a long and varied nursing career, briefly in the Royal Army Nursing Service abroad, mainly in the NHS in UK. True love and a happy family came my way and now I have the time to read, write and remember.
Thank you to Alison Burke and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for gifting me a digital copy of The Charity of Strangers and inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.