The Charity of Strangers by Alison Burke

TCOS FrontCover

You can find almost anything in a charity shop, but can you find love?

You can certainly find friendship and there is both laughter and tears ahead when 19yr old Zaffron, lonely, anxious and without direction, meets Blaire Daintry, good-looking, charming, and gay.

Both volunteers in the charity shop, he has a hidden agenda, she has secrets,  but they are friends from the start, despite Blaire’s constant sparring with Ida, the stern, good-hearted older volunteer who Zaffron admires. And perhaps Ida has secrets too.

Together with other victims of the city’s housing crisis, Blaire and Zaffron set up a safe and happy home.  Secure at last, she tells him of the dreadful incident in her childhood that has marred her life, but not even his total acceptance gives her the confidence to start a relationship with an attractive and decent young army sergeant who falls in love with her.

Is it fear of the truth coming out that holds her back? Or is there some other reason, buried too deep in her heart for her to recognise?


A story of self discovery 
This book is set around a charity shop in London, the people in it and how things can change 
The story is set from Zaffron’s point of view and as a main character she has been through a lot but she is trying to change her life and become the person she wants to be. Seeing Zaffy develop from a nervous and scared character to someone who knows what she wants and is in control of her life really caught my attention
There is such a mix of people in the charity shop and for so many their lives intertwine in ways that you wouldn’t expect. Friendships are formed and almost every character goes through a journey of self discovery looking at their lives and how things can change in a very short period of time 
This book wasn’t at all what I was expecting but it still caught my attention. The characters are the main focus and I started to become invested in their lives and what would happen to them as the story developed which kept me reading and wondering what twist would come next as there was always something that surprised me with each one of them
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a story that looks at people and how they can come together in times of crisis whilst finding themselves 
AM 🐾 x

Purchase Links

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Author Bio


I was born and grew up in Lancashire, gained several nursing qualifications and had the privilege of a long and varied nursing career, briefly in the Royal Army Nursing Service abroad, mainly in the NHS in UK. True love and a happy family came my way and now I have the time to  read, write and remember.

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Filed under books, Drama, family, friendship, love

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