The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson

Bethan has just rented a new flat and is decorating prior to moving in with her three-year-old son, Noah, when Lachlan sees her from his window opposite. He is an army officer stuck at home recovering from an accident and, feeling a bit isolated, he reaches out to her with a note in his window.

I had not read anything by Miranda Dickinson for many years, since Fairytale of New York, but thought I’d give The Start of Something a try and I was not disappointed, though I did have some reservations. I thought the ‘notes in the window’ was an interesting premise for a romance novel, but here it did not develop in the direction I was expecting it to. Although the main characters were well written and fully developed, there was not enough interaction between them for me to believe in their fledgling romance.

The story is told in alternate chapters by Bethan and Lachlan, so we get a rounded picture of what is going on in their lives. They are both hiding something about themselves that they think the other will judge them for, and this leads to some really strange behaviour. Their backstories are gradually revealed, layer by layer, until the full horror of what each of them has been through comes to light.

I liked that there was more going on here than just the notes in the window. Noah was delightful, as were Ernie and Bert, Lachlan’s cat and dog. Bethan’s colleagues at the garden centre were (mostly) lovely, and I enjoyed reading about what they managed to accomplish there. As for the investigation into the accident Lachlan was involved in, I simply couldn’t understand why it took him so long to see his ‘friend’ for what he really was.

Overall, I enjoyed The Start of Something and look forward to the next book by Miranda Dickinson. Thanks to HarperCollins and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.