A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The House That Alice Built by Chris Penhall- Feature and Review


Home is where the heart is
Alice Dorothy Matthews is sensible. Whilst her best friend Kathy is living it up in Portugal and her insufferable ex Adam is travelling the world, Alice is working hard to pay for the beloved London house she has put her heart and soul into renovating.
But then a postcard from Buenos Aires turns Alice’s life upside down. One very unsensible decision later and she is in Cascais, Portugal, and so begins her lesson in ‘going with the flow’; a lesson that sees her cat-sitting, paddle boarding, dancing on top of bars and rediscovering her artistic talents.
But perhaps the most important part of the lesson for Alice is that you don’t always need a house to be at home.



The House That Alice BuiltThe House That Alice Built by Chris Penhall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The House That Alice Built by Chris Penhall is a 2019 Ruby Fiction publication.

A lovely tale full of inspiration and warmth!

After Alice’s boyfriend, Adam, leaves her to take a personal sabbatical, she is left with the sole responsibility of paying for the home they bought together. Alice loves the house and has worked hard to make it a home. Meanwhile, her spontaneous best friend, Kathy, keeps pressuring Alice to forget Adam and come visit her in Portugal. Alice always demurs, but when her ordered life is suddenly upended, she impulsively changes her mind and accepts her friend’s invitation.

This fateful decision will have a long- lasting effect on Alice as she faces down her issues with Adam and learns to live in the moment, for the first time in her life.

The setting for this novel is perfect and creates just the right atmosphere for Alice while she works out what she needs to do with her life. I enjoyed watching Alice blossom and become bolder and stronger, learning to let go and find the courage to move forward and make changes when needed.

The secondary story involving her friend Kathy gives us another couple to root for and Alice’s pet sitting duties added another level of zaniness, keeping things light and fun. I just wish I could get my hands on some of that famous tea!!

Overall, this is a sweet, feel good story perfect for anyone, anytime, anywhere.






Chris Penhall is the winner of the Choc-Lit Search for a Star competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, with her debut novel, The House That Alice Built.

Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio as well as an Associate Producer of the Richard and Judy Book Club Podcast. She also works on an ad hoc basis doing PR and communications for a hospice and compiles a charities news page for a local magazine. 

Born in South Wales, she has also lived in London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it! She is now working on her second.
A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook, and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea.

You can find more information about her on www.chrispenhall.co.uk
or folllow her on twitter: @ChrisPenhall
Instagram: christinepenhall
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPenhallBro

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