The Home for Broken Hearts is about a middle-aged British widow who, in order to make ends meet, turns her home into a boarding house. She takes in three tenants: an elderly woman who writes bodice-buster romances, a young woman banker who works with her sister, and who is separated from her husband because she caught him writing love letters to an old flame and a man who writes a column about sexual conquests for a porno magazine.
Ellen is devastated by her husband's death and as the first anniversary approaches she learns that his life insurance isn't going to pay and that she is going to have to make it on her own financially. However, she hasn't worked since before their twelve year old son was born. It doesn't take long for the reader to suspect something is wrong with Ellen and/or her memories of her marriage, and it turns out there were real problems, problems Ellen learns about along with the reader.
In a lot of ways, this book is about fantasy vs. reality. Ellen ends up as the author's assistant, and as we know, bodice-buster romances cater to women's sexual fantasies. Of course the columnist caters to men's sexual fantasies. Reality, of course, is like neither one, and in the course of the story, the characters learn that while real life is messy, it is preferable to a fantasy.
I learned about this book by reading Mailbox Monday posts and was able to find it at my library.