She’s always looking on the bright side… Dawn Elisabeth Brightside has been running from her past for twenty-two years and two months, precisely. So when she is offered a bed in St Jude’s Hostel for the Homeless, it means so much more than just a roof over her head. But with St Jude’s threatened with closure, Dawn worries that everything is about to crumble around her all over again. Perhaps, with a little help from her new friends, she can find a way to save this light in the darkness?

And maybe, just maybe, Dawn will finally have a place to call home…

Dawn Brightside

I absolutely loved this book. I’m not sure how many times I was reduced to tears but that’s a good sign for me! I would give it six stars if I could.

Dawn Elizabeth Brightside did not have an easy beginning. Her beloved father disappeared when she was a child and her mother – well let’s just say she wasn’t the best. Then something happened and Dawn has been running for 22 years. In fact the exact time since her daughter Rosie was born. We don’t know why she’s been running all this time but the reasons why are revealed bit by bit.

The story really begins when Dawn is accepted into St Jude’s hostel for the homeless in Dover. St Jude’s is run by Grace (half of the story is seen from her point of view) and Peter, an ex-service user himself. Then there is Cara, whom Dawn befriends, trying to get off drugs so she can be reunited with her twins, Jack, in care and then prison but trying to turn his life around once and for all, Teardrop Terry and a host of others, living in the hostel or on the streets. Everyone has a backstory, most are heart-wrenching.

But Dawn is full of hope and blessed with a vivid imagination. How can she and Grace and the others save St Jude’s when funding is withdrawn and the hostel is faced with closure? This is a book filled with sadness, but more than anything it’s filled with love and of course extraordinary hope.

Many thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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