Lauren Bravo: Preloved

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Preloved. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to the publisher for my copy of the book.


Gwen is coasting through life. She’s in her mid-thirties, perpetually single, her friends are busy procreating in the countryside and conversations with her parents seem to revolve entirely around the council’s wheelie-bin timetable.
And she’s lonely. But then, isn’t everyone?
When she’s made redundant from a job she hardly cares about, she takes herself out for a fancy dinner. There she has the best sticky toffee pudding of her life and realises she has no one to tell. She vows to begin living her life fully, reconnect with her friends and family, and finally book that dentist’s appointment. 
Gwen decides to start where all things get a second chance: her local charity shop. There, with the help of the weird and wonderful people and donated items bursting with untold stories, Gwen will find a way to move forward with bravery, tenacity, and more regular dental care.
Dazzlingly witty, Preloved is a tale about friendship, loss and being true to yourself no matter the expectations. Lovingly celebrating the enduring power and joy of charity shops.


One of the reasons I sign up for blog tours is to read books that I might not otherwise come across and Preloved was one of these books. I am so pleased I chose to read this and I feel like I’ve found an absolute gem. Lauren Bravo is a very perceptive writer who writes with humour, sensitivity and honesty and I found myself immersed in Gwen’s life from beginning to end. 

Gwen is in her late thirties. She’s single and unemployed and she feels like other people are moving on without her and her friendships are slipping away. In these respects, Gwen is very like me and I immediately connected with her, particularly as I don’t feel I’ve read a book which captures these insecurities quite as well as Lauren Bravo does in Preloved. Her narrative voice is easy to read and I love the dark humour and self-deprecating tone. Gwen spends time with several interesting and colourful family members and friends who are all brilliantly drawn and this gives us some insight into why she feels and behaves in the way she does. 

I found the charity shop setting very interesting and I loved the sections that detailed the stories behind some of the items that were donated. This really helped me to see that seemingly ordinary items can have special meanings for different people, and adds an extra layer to this heartwarming novel. It was also lovely to see how the items also have significance for their new owners too. 

Alongside the humour, there is a much more emotional element to the story. Lauren Bravo explores some difficult themes as part of this, but she does so in such an impactful way. Gwen’s story really hit me and the author makes us feel her emotions in a way which means I will be thinking about this novel long after I finished reading. 

Preloved is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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