Book Review: Freecycling for Beginners

“‘Move on,’ Anna had told her and now Jane was ready. She would never forget Hugh and the years they had together, but it was time to be practical and start the next phase of her life. There was only one thing left to do. She pulled out her phone, found the Freecycle site, took a picture of it and posted, Offered: One old-fashioned armchair. Upholstery a little worn. Then she pressed send.”

“Freecycling for Beginners”, by Misha M Herwin

I’m delighted to join the Blog Tour of “Freecycling for Beginners” by Misha M Herwin. Many thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources, the publishers Penkhull Press, and of course the author for organising the tour and gifting me an ecopy of the book.

For those that aren’t familiar with it, Freecycle is an online forum where people can exchange items or services for free. From this simple premise, author Misha M Herwin has created a community of characters in “Freecycling for Beginners” that gradually interweave as the story progresses.

The first few chapters of this heartwarming novel read almost like short stories – introducing us to the various characters and immersing us in their lives and what has led them to either offer or seek items via the Freecycle site, including anything from an armchair to a prom dress. As the book progresses, the stories start to overlap, and the author does a great job of showing how lives can impact each other in unexpected ways.

I enjoyed the episodic way this book was written. In some ways it reminded me of the Scotland Street books by Alexander McCall Smith, although the circumstances of the characters’ lives are more hard-hitting. The author brings in some challenging topics, with a single-mum struggling to cope raising a child with autism; a marriage struggling when the husband is made redundant; a cancer diagnosis; and a widow coping with her recent bereavement and moving away from the family home.

However, throughout all this there are many lighter moments, along with some lovely examples of the characters supporting each other through their troubles. I enjoyed seeing the various relationships develop, and the author does a great job of showing how simple acts of kindness can make all the difference to those around us. Despite including some challenging topics, I would definitely recommend this book to others looking for a positive, uplifting read.

Pages: 310
Published: 31st August 2021
Rating: 🐈🐈🐈🐈/5

Purchase links:

About the author

Misha M Herwin is a Staffordshire based writer. When not writing she runs workshops for adults and children, including youth groups at the New Vic Theatre, and events such as the 6×6 Story Café for Stoke Libraries. She spends what spare time she has with family and friends, reading, working in her garden and baking. Scones are a speciality.

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