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To Have and to Hold Paperback – 19 Jun 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (19 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444786776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444786774
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 836,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Well written, believable characters and a good plot. I am a big fan of this writer! (Katie Fforde)

This story about temptation and the lure of a different existence offers an interesting, often thought-provoking, take on the challenges of relationships and family life. (chicklitclub.com)

A second novel from an author whom I believe is a star of the future . . . a most satisfying read. (Lovereading.co.uk)

Praise for TWO FOR JOY (:)

This is a pure delight . . . beautifully handled with some unexpected, humorous and emotional moments, all thrown into a fast-moving plot. I loved it. (Lovereading.co.uk)

A page-turner that keeps you gripped until the end. (Daily Mail)

An enjoyable romantic comedy with some entertaining twists. (Sunday Mirror)

Charming . . . warm, confidently written, very addictive . . . I thoroughly enjoyed it (Bookseller)

A really impressive debut. The writing keeps you on edge and has you wanting to read more and more and more! Helen is definitely an author to watch out for. (chicklitclub.com)

[Julia is] a fantastic character whose flaws make her all the more loveable . . . The novel explores the vulnerability and strength that accompany pregnancy and motherhood in a distinctive way. (Novelicious.com)

This was brilliant, and I really did enjoy every page, I didn't want to put it down! Chandler is an exciting new voice in women's fiction, and this debut makes me very excited for what else she has to come. I hope you enjoy TWO FOR JOY as much as I did, it was fantastic! (chicklitchloe.blogspot.co.uk)

A quick and entertaining read with a number of twists and turns to the story that I couldn't have predicted and a wonderfully satisfying ending . . . Funny, insightful and romantic - an absolute joy to read! (onemorepage.co.uk)

A wonderfully written debut . . . Written in a lovely laid back style that quickly absorbs the reader's attention and provides witty, warm-hearted reading, with regular giggles and loads of fun, the story explores the complexity of relationships, misunderstandings and drama of first babies and second chances. (handwrittengirl.com)

I was drawn into these characters' lives instantly and I fell in love with Julia . . . The writing was funny and sharp and I found myself storming through this book as each chapter made me want to keep reading . . . it was really impressive and I cannot wait to see what is next from Helen! (lauralovelockbookreviews.wordpress.com)

A touching, romantic read . . . What a fantastic debut, I'm looking forward to her next release. (reabookreview.blogspot.co.uk)

A light-hearted . . . satisfying read. (The Lady magazine)

Book Description

What happens when happily ever after doesn't work out quite as you expected? This is an insightful, warm-hearted and tender novel about three very different marriages.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
To Have and To Hold shows the different relationships that we have over the course of our life. Phoebe is fifteen and has all the problems that teenagers have, though she has the added problem that is her mother. Her mother is on her back about her weight, problems she has with people in school who pick on her and no matter how right Phoebe is, her mother doesn't believe her or completely blames her for problems she encounters.
Ella has always done everything that she thought she was right but she has come to a point in her life she wants to escape and try something different, something that isn't her. Ella's best friend, Imogen has always been by her side since they met when Imogen was pregnant with her little boy and Ella was pregnant with her oldest child.
Ella has fallen into a life that she no longer feels happy with, her husband Greg, doesn't appreciate her as well as he should but that all changes when she meets Callum again, he makes her feel young and happy again, and when she is with him, she forgets about her life, about her husband and then she makes the biggest mistake of her life that could ruin everything she has ever known in a second.
Callum is Phoebe's father, his marriage hasn't been great for a while but when he meets Ella again, it seems like the last push he needs to leave his wife for good but Phoebe wants to leave with him but she needs to stay with her mother. Phoebe just wants out of her house, she wants to leave with her dad, he seems to understand her and not nag her like her mother.
And then there is Imogen, she has had enough of her lousy boyfriend/father of her child and his behaviour when it comes to their child.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was a satisfying read. I would say a family based read.

Married, happily [or so it seems] children come along, life gets in the way, feelings get lost. Hubby gets distracted [but by what or whom?] married wife full time job of housekeeper.

Things are not all what they seem. I don't want to say much more as this does have an event in this book that could alter the course of this family, their life, their future, but if I tell you, it will spoil your read so I won't!

I was given a complimentary book from Hodder & Stoughton Via Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another winner from Helen. I really enjoyed her first book and I think this one is even better. The story line is really good and she draws the characters so well. It is the type of book that you can't put down and yet are enjoying it so much that you don't want it to end. I really hope that she continues to write and that book number three is in the planning stage!
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Format: Paperback
To Have and to Hold follows the story of three girls who are all at a low and depressing point in their lives. Ella seems to have a loving husband and idyllic family set up but she still feels as though something is missing. Her friend Imogen is in a relationship with Pete but their relationship is hanging on by a thread , Imogen clearly doesn't love him anymore but feels she should stay for their daughters sake. Then there is Phoebe who is coming up to her important exams but her world is a constant battle ground, bullied at school about her weight and when she comes home the battle continues with her mum.

I loved both Imogen and Phoebe, their characters were very different but yet their problems both need them to be strong, make a choice and make a big change for their lives. I felt I could relate to Phoebe the most so I looked forward to her parts in the book the most.
I really didn't like Ella which is the first time in a long time that I haven't liked a main character. I couldn't relate to her and also I couldn't believe her flippant actions. This aside I still thoroughly enjoyed this book, the storyline managed to hold my attention the whole way through. There are a variety of day to day problems covered in this book from weight issues to adultery to name a few so the storyline was actually quiet believable.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend if your looking for a book with characters you can relate to and a realistic storyline with an easy writing style.
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Format: Paperback
I have just finished, virtually in one sitting, To Have & To Hold by Helen Chandler.
It is 'chick-lit' I suppose, but a superior form of the genre. We actually get to care about the characters and there was an element of jeopardy involving a late-night café in Soho which was extremely well done, I thought.

This is Ms Chandler's second novel (the first was Two For Joy) and already you can see that her style has developed and her characters are more rounded this time around - and we get to care about them. It revolves around three different relationships and the joys and frustration of loving and living with someone.

Ella is married to Greg with two small children and has become a housewife and is rather disillusioned with life. She is best friends with Imogen (Immy) who lives with her flaky partner Pete and their 3 year old daughter, Indigo. Immy is the main breadwinner and is very disillusioned with Pete's layabout ways. Ella and Immy live in London, but both come from 'Up North' - Ella from Liverpool and Immy from near Hull.

The third relationship involves Callum and his gym-bunny, uptight wife, Liz. They live in a nice area of Liverpool with their teenage daughter Phoebe.
Liz is still stunning to look at (a modelling 'has-been') but has nothing in common with Callum, a 6'3" hunk in his early 40s.
Their daughter Phoebe feels a misfit. She's overweight and her mother keeps pressurising her to join her at Zumba classes and underfeeds her. She's miserable with her lot as she's intelligent and bookish, but that alienates her mother even more. Her one ally is Callum, who adores his daughter, encourages her dreams of university and stays in his miserable marriage just to protect her from hurt.

So the scene is set.
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