Wednesday 26 April 2023

#Blogtour Preloved by Lauren Bravo

It's my turn on the Blogtour Preloved by Lauren Bravo.

About the Author

Lauren Bravo is a freelance journalist who writes about fashion, popular culture, food, travel and feminism, for publications including Grazia, Refinery29 UK, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, easyJet Traveller, Time Out, Delicious, the Telegraph and the Guardian. She is the author of two non-fiction books, What Would the Spice Girls Do? (2018) and How To Break Up With Fast Fashion (2020). Lauren lives in East London, and Preloved is her debut novel. Find out more on her website Follow @laurenbravo on Twitter

About the book

Gwen’s life has stalled. She’s in her mid-thirties, perpetually single, her friends are busy procreating in the country and conversations with her parents seem to revolve entirely around herbaceous borders and the council’s wheelie-bin timetable. Above all she’s lonely. But then, isn’t everyone?

When Gwen’s made redundant from a job she drifted into a decade ago and never left, she realises it’s time to make a change. Over what might be the best – and most solitary – meal she’s ever eaten, Gwen vows to find something meaningful to do with her life, reconnect with her family and friends – and finally book herself a dentist appointment.

Her search for meaning soon leads her to volunteer in a local charity shop where she both literally and metaphorically unloads her emotional baggage. With the help of the weird and wonderful people she meets in the shop and the donated items bursting with untold stories that pass through its doors, Gwen must finally address the events and choices that led her to this point and find a way to move forward with bravery, humanity and more regular dental care.

Brimming with life, love and the stories bound up in even the most everyday items, Preloved is a tale about friendship, loss, being true to oneself no matter the expectations – and the enduring power and joy of charity shops.


It's a bit of a shock to discover that mid-thirty is the new past the sell-by-date, especially when you've just been turfed out of your job. It al leaves Gwen feeling unwanted, unloved and quite frankly invisible - which is not unusual for women after a certain age, perhaps because they are often treated as second best due to their advancing age. I say that with every bit of irony I can muster without being a tad insulting towards a society that has a Logan's Run age identity crisis at the core of their societal standards.

It's time to buckle up and reinvent the wheel. Life as Gwen knows it is about to become quirky and a lot more accepting of her and those around her, as she decides to wade in waters hitherto unknown to her.

Delightful, this would make a great tv series. An item from a charity shop creating a connection between two people, as their stories unfold every week. The main character trying to find themselves and the meaning of life in the midst of one person's thrift item is another person's treasure.

Aside from the quaint characters and the lovely premise I think it's worth noting that thrift shops are the ultimate recycling centre, but people don't see it as such because they are run as shops. In the majority of cases the profit goes to charitable causes. It's much better to let someone else have your preloved item instead of it going to a landfill. 

In a way the characters themselves lend themselves to the description and title. What are we if not preloved when we are emerging from a past relationship.

Buy Preloved at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer Publisher : Simon and Shuster, pub date 27th April 2023 | Hardcover | £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.

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