Today dear reader I am on the blog tour for This Could be Everything (Published 16th Feb 2023) By Eva Rice. A big thank you to the publishers Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy to read and review, always appreciated. Also to the wonderful Anne for inviting me to take part in the tour, always a pleasure to work with.
This Could Be Everything
It’s 1990. The Happy Mondays are in the charts, a fifteen-year-old called Kate Moss is on the cover of the Face magazine, and Julia Roberts wears thigh-boots for the poster of a new movie called Pretty Woman.
February Kingdom is nineteen years old when she is knocked sideways by family tragedy. Then one evening in May, she finds an escaped canary in her kitchen and it sparks a glimmer of hope in her. With the help of the bird called Yellow, Feb starts to feel her way out of her own private darkness, just as her aunt embarks on a passionate and all-consuming affair with a married American drama teacher.
This Could Be Everything is a coming-of-age story with its roots under the pavements of a pre-Richard-Curtis-era Notting Hill that has all but vanished. It’s about what happens when you start looking after something more important than you, and the hope a yellow bird can bring . . .
About The Author
Eva Rice has written 5 novels and is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets – a post-war coming-of-age story that was runner-up in the 2006 Richard and Judy Book of the Year. It is currently being developed by Fudge Park (creators of The Inbetweeners) and Moonage Pictures (Pursuit of Love) as a major new TV series. Eva has toured with bands since her early twenties. She has written the music and lyrics for Harriet a musical based on an early Jilly Cooper novel due to open in 2023. She has a geek-like fascination with pop music, and her party trick is recalling chart positions.
It’s 1990 and nineteen year old February Kingdom (What an awesome name!) sits in her room listening to the radio top 40 chart count down. A ritual she has done since the tragic death of her non-identical twin sister Diana six months ago. February spent the first nine years of her life in Austin, Texas and then for the next seven in Oxfordshire, England. Yet she tells everyone she’s a Londoner born and bred, she feels London in her bones although her Texas accent gives her away. She lives with her aunt Ann and uncle Robert since her parents’ death in a fire at King’s Cross station in 1987. February locks herself away in her room and hasn’t stepped outside in months. She panics at the thought of having to answer the phone, the door, and has forgotten how to talk to people. But one evening a small yellow bird flies into her kitchen and changes everything.
I loved that at the start of the book there is a playlist that you can scan and listen to as you read. It added to the nostalgia of going back to the 90’s, listening to its sound and remembering simpler times before the internet really took its hold with its social media and being glued to your phone. It was refreshing and an indulgent experience.
February was an interesting character to follow. The reader gets to hear her thoughts and feelings of what she is going through at such a dark time in her life. Her whole world has been flipped upside down since the death of her family. She is afraid of all the things that once pleased her, has dropped out of everything and will only speak to her aunt and uncle. Her world is one filled with panic, fear and grief. The reader witnesses how difficult it is for her to answer the phone when it continues to keep ringing. They experience how something that seems simple enough to most people, is a daunting task for February who is filled with anxiety. She doesn’t feel like she is enough. As sisters it was Diana who got all the attention, she was a model and people would say is full of life. February keeps her head down and studies, not wanting to be noticed. The beauty of this book is that the reader gets to watch February grow and overcome her fear. You are constantly cheering her on, supporting her, wanting her to know it’s ok and to take those first scary steps out into the world.
I couldn’t help but smile whenever February and Theo were together. The interaction between these two characters was fascinating to watch, beautiful and tender as they slowly let each other into their lives. Theo is the complete opposite to February, he’s cheeky and encourages her to take back control, to get out into the world. Before her sister died February was all set to go to go to university back in Texas but has long since given up that dream. Theo tells her she should do it and to also start playing tennis again, a passion she has stopped since Diana died. Theo can see that February needs help and so gives her his canary who is called Yellow. February says she was useful when she was a twin, a sister, she needs to believe and know that she is enough. Theo tells her she’s useful now, without her he won’t survive and that maybe Yellow saves her. It takes her a while but she slowly starts to want to wake up, go out, answer the door or phone. Theo at first frightened her as he made her feel things she thinks she shouldn’t. With the help of him and Yellow February starts to see what happens when you look after something more important than yourself. She sees the hope a tiny yellow bird can bring.
I give This Could Be Everything By Eva Rice a Five out of Five paw rating.
Absolutely fantastic! A heartwarming story that will make you cry, laugh and see how life is very often not about the arrival, it’s about the journey. I could not put this book down, I was obsessed. I highly recommend to everyone.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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Thanks for the blog tour support x
Wow, what a compelling synopsis! It sounds like This Could Be Everything is going to be a fantastic read. I’m looking forward to seeing how February Kingdom’s story plays out. What sort of challenges will she face in the process of finding hope again? I’m sure I’ll be enthralled with the journey and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Thanks for the review and for giving us a glimpse into this book – it’s certainly one I’m going to add to my collection!