Jane Bash - 33 Bits

Publisher: Jane Bash

ISBN: 978 1 4392 4850 8

My rating: 3/5

Etta’s world is a narrow one. Living in a small town on the edges of the Arizona desert, she has had few opportunities to shine. But when the aspiring author wins a local writing contest, she’s rewarded with the prize of a lifetime: an all-expenses paid vacation to England. Upon arrival, however, a series of travel mishaps leave her alone in the unfamiliar city of Birmingham, England, with no money, luggage, or passport. Yet what begins as a disastrous trip gradually evolves into a life-changing adventure. The young woman is embraced by the city’s residents, and she finds friendship, love—and devastating betrayal—in the most unexpected places. The experience is recorded by the gold charms on Etta’s cherished charm bracelet, which she hides away after she returns home. Years later, her daughter discovers the bracelet, forcing Etta to face the painful memories of her past. Inspired by a real-life antique, 33 Bits is moving story of hope and forgiveness.

My thoughts

What a beautiful idea! Jane Bash found a charm bracelet on a journey to the UK and writes a story around it. As Jane lets us know at the start of her book, the thirty-three charms are detailing a woman's journey through life in Europe - with an attempt to find this woman, the owner of the bracelet. For this reason alone it is worth a read.

Etta Johnson is this woman. A young woman from Arizona, she wins a local competition: a trip to the UK. Her mother and sister give her a charm bracelet to which she can add during her time overseas. And so she does with every charm representing another chapter or event during this adventure which turns out nothing of what she had initially planned.

It's a beautiful book and beautifully written, though I have to admit I did struggle here and there with the attempt of the phonetically written Birmingham accent. It took me a few attempts to understand the gist of it.

Etta's story is an interesting one, though I thought very drawn out over more than 350 pages. More sounding like a fairytale I had to put the book aside a few times - all of Etta's luck seemed to be put on a bit much. And even though with the constant reminder that it's set in the 1970s, the romantic words were over the top and soapy.

Having said all this though, I'm glad I've read the book. It's a wonderful ending and I do hope that Jane will be successful with her quest to find the owner of the bracelet.

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