Helga Jensen is an award-winning British/Danish best-selling author and journalist. Her debut novel was a winning entry in the 2017 Montegrappa First Fiction competition at Dubai’s Emirates Literary Festival. Her debut was also a contender for the coveted 2021 Joan Hessayon Award for new writers. Helga’s second romantic comedy, A Scandinavian Summer, went straight to number one on the Amazon Kindle charts for Danish travel on its publication day. Helga holds a BA Hons in English Literature and Creative Writing, along with a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. She is currently working on a PhD.
Jane Harvey is a pen name (shhh). She crafts fun fiction for the thinking woman, where she enjoys exploring unexpected friendships and writing happy endings. This is lucky, because in real life her (prize-winning) fiction is a little bleaker.
She was born and raised on the island of Jersey, and lives with two males and a dog.
She owns an admirable collection of animal vases and unusual lighting.
Following on from The Landlord of Hummingbird House, this book focuses on Betty’s story and covers both the late 1960s and present day. As a new bride, Betty and husband William purchase Hummingbird House for their first home, not quite sure what they’ll do with all those extra rooms to start with, but they plan to enjoy redecorating before settling into family life.
Betty is definitely a naive young woman but is happy to give up her job and stay home in the hopes of being a good wife, and, someday, a mother. She throws herself into doing up the place but soon feels lonely being at home all day on her own while William goes to work. But she says nothing, and ploughs her energy into refurbishing the basement. Eventually, it’s finished, and by now they’ve decided to rent it out – their first tenants being Sandra and her boyfriend Robert. This couple breathe fresh air into the building and into Betty’s life, and she and Sandra strike up a lovely friendship that enables Betty to share her innermost thoughts for probably the first time in her life. Seeing Betty grow and learn from Sandra is delightful, and even in the hardest and saddest of times their friendship remains solid – which is more than can be said with Betty’s other relationships.
Running in tandem with Betty’s early years at Hummingbird House is the present day story with Betty now as an 82-year-old landlord. This story recaps on events from book one but develops the relationships of the tenants further – with Betty and with each other.
While decades apart, the two stories show that many of the same issues still exist albeit with differing repercussions. As the wise elder of the house, Betty looks on at the fragility of some of her tenants, and can’t resist making things happen 🙂 The whole book is made wonderful by its leading lady, her fabulous tenants and friends, poignant and heart-warming (also heart-breaking) stories, and oodles of emotional baggage that needs a delicate touch to portray so effectively. Overall, it is undeniably believable, honest and engaging. Book three is already on my radar!