I am delighted to be sharing my review for the hugely emotional; Meet Me on the Buddy Bench by Hannah Pearl. This book is so heartbreaking and powerful, I can’t wait to share it with you all.
About the Book
Meet Me on the Buddy Bench
When an ordinary park bench becomes a lifeline …
As a primary school teacher, Ava Lam is familiar with the ‘buddy bench’: a rainbow painted bench where sad or lonely children can sit to show they need a friend.
But are buddy benches just for kids? Ava might have assumed so – until she finds herself sobbing her heart out on a park bench and a kind stranger sits down next to her.
The stranger, Dr Sam Stone, has a house, an impressive job and he’s even training for a marathon – all things that have become painfully out of reach for Ava in her new and scary circumstances. But whilst Sam appears to have everything figured out, it seems he needs a sympathetic ear just as much as she does.
Is the encounter a one-off, or could the ‘buddy bench’ begin to represent a source of comfort and support that will become precious to them both?
My first thoughts of this book went along the lines of…
My goodness, I’m a mess….what a beautiful, eloquent and utterly heart-breaking and equally heart-warming book!!
I was transfixed by the breathtaking story of two lonely, scared and vulnerable people finding each other in the most random of places.
I have to be perfectly honest and say that I didn’t know too much about the condition M.E before reading this, I knew it can be life-changing and deliberating, but in my ignorance that was about all, I knew this book is incredibly insightful and eye-opening about what M.E sufferers must face on a daily basis.
Ava is a wonderful character, her constant fight for diagnosis breaks your heart and you can’t but think that she shouldn’t have to go through this, her life changes more or less instantly overnight; the journey she must go on really spoke to me. As a carer, I have had to navigate my way through so many doors to get appointments, diagnoses, treatment and the constant waiting for procedures – it’s a headache, I felt for Ava and I connected with her. All she wants (like all of us) is to be healthy and to be able to go about her life as she always has done, but because of her ongoing and worsening condition her life has come to a standstill with very little help coming her way.
I loved the symbolism that the ‘bench’ presented to them both, it was a place of quietness, of hope, of friendship, a place to clear the mind, to shed the tears you’ve been holding in, to talk, to share your fears somewhere to just shed off the cruelty of the world.
Meet me on the Buddy Bench has it all; romance, drama, laughter and huge emotion, I can guarantee that it will break your heart. The writing is compelling, it engaged me from the first words, I was hooked with Eva’s story and I loved following her journey. The slow-burning romance between her and Sam is sweetly tender. Sam is a man who has his own issues to resolve and hurdles to jump over before he can allow himself to be happy.
I cannot recommend this enough, it’s a story of hope and survival, of love and friendship, all I can say is just read it!!
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