2019 Reviews · contemporary fiction · life lit · new release · romance

New Release Book Review: If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon

Title: If You Could Go Anywhereif you could go anywhere small

Author: Paige Toon

Published: May 1st 2019

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Pages: 432

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

How can you know where you’re going . . . if you don’t know where you’re from?

Angie has always wanted to travel, but at twenty-seven she has barely even stepped outside the Australian mining town where she was born. Instead, she discovers the world through stories told to her by passing travellers, dreaming that one day she’ll see it all for herself.

When her grandmother passes away, leaving Angie with no remaining family, she is ready to start her own adventures. Then she finds a letter revealing the address of the father she never knew, and realises instantly where her journey must begin: Italy.

As Angie sets out to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will mysterious and reckless Italian Alessandro help guide the way?

Review:

If You Could Go Anywhere is the uplifting, heart-warming and well travelled new novel from ‘the million copy bestselling author’ Paige Toon. Just how far would you be willing to go for love? This question is posed by Paige Toon in her latest novel. Following the life journey of Angie, If You Could Go Anywhere is about finding your place in the world, connecting with your roots and building a future.

Paige Toon’s latest novel introduces Angie, a young Australian woman, who has lived a sheltered existence in the mining town of Coober Pedy. But Angie has big dreams and she would love to explore the world. When Angie’s beloved grandmother passes away, she is a delivered a big wake up call. Angie has a broken heart, but she knows now is the best time to set her travel plans into motion. While packing up to embark on her big adventure, Angie comes across a life changing letter. Inside the letter are details pertaining to the true identify of her father, a man she believes did not exist. In an effort to connect with her biological father, Angie begins her journey in Italy. In Italy, Angie finds a new family, friendship, shock revelations and love.

Endorsed by my book club, Paige Toon is an author I have not experienced before. I had high expectations going into this novel, through positive comments I had heard about this author’s work. Thankfully, the praise was warranted, If You Could Go Anywhere was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining novel.

The whole novel sits on Angie, the main protagonist of If You Could Go Anywhere. Toon’s characterisation is spot on. I immediately took a liking to Angie. Angie was strong but also vulnerable, approachable, inspiring and embracing. I really connected with her journey to find meaning in her life. I also cheered her on as she made leaps and gains in her life. It was heartening to see Angie spread her wings and commit to achieving the things she wanted the most in life – a family, to explore the world and find love.

Another aspect that I truly adored about this novel was the strong sense of place that pervades the whole novel. I always like to get a feel for an author who is unfamiliar to me and while perusing the author bio in this book, I was quite taken with the fact that Paige Toon is a travel enthusiast. I feel this passion for exploring the world has been injected into her novel. Paige Toon comes from a background spent living across three different countries – England, America and Australia. This has put Toon in good standing to produce a novel that revolves around travel experiences. If you have been bitten by the travel bug, expect to be dazzled by this new book from Paige Toon. The Italy based sequences are magical! On the flip side, if you are a reader that knows very little about mining life in Australia’s remote locations, Paige Toon accurately summarises what life is like living in a cavern style arrangement in Coober Pedy. I loved the accompanying opal mining operation references too! Fascinating!

I have been told that Paige Toon is quite the queen of contemporary romance and I was looking forward to sinking my teeth into a well crafted romance. Toon does not disappoint in this department and I am sure she will earn new fans, as well as impress her existing fans. There is plenty of emotion to get swept up in while delving into the romance side of things in the novel. By the close of If You Could Go Anywhere, I did feel  satisfied by the love story. However, I think my heart went out to the tender father/daughter and the other family relationships that form during the course of this novel.

Paige Toon definitely pulls out all the stops for her latest, If You Could Go Anywhere. She deftly combines a globetrotting adventure, with a heartening story of being reunited with your family and testing the waters of a new love along the way. A solid example of a life lit title, If You Could Go Anywhere will spark plenty of self examination and inspire you to set your sights afar, while leaving your heart feeling full.

If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon was published on the 1st May 2019 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of If You Could Go Anywhere, Paige Toon, visit here.

*I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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