The Home for Broken Hearts

The Home for Broken Hearts


For young widow Ellen Wood, her Victorian home is a refuge—a place to feel safe with her eleven-year-old son, Charlie. But when money grows so tight that Ellen could lose the house, her sister, Hannah, makes a radical suggestion . . . rent out some of the rooms. Soon Ellen has three lodgers: Sabine, a German coworker of Hannah’s, recently separated from her husband; Allegra, an eccentric but wise novelist; and Matt, an up-and-coming young journalist in search of his voice, who has just landed a plum job in London.

Ellen thinks three strangers are the last complication she needs, but they make her realize just how isolated she has become. Their presence exposes a secret she’s been keeping hidden, as well as a conflict with her sister that is both shocking and revealing. And while a love affair with a younger man seems like a fantasy powered by her imagination, Ellen can’t deny her deep connection to Matt, or the changes he inspires in her and her relationship with Charlie. Outside her home’s sheltering walls lies a world of opportunity as well as danger. Now that she’s had the courage to open the door, does Ellen dare step through?

Witty, moving, and deeply insightful, The Home for Broken Hearts celebrates everything that makes life worth living, from an author who knows just how to speak to the heart.
  • Pocket Books | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439182505 | 
  • September 2010
List Price $11.99 (price may vary by retailer)

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Home for Broken Hearts includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Ellen Woods hasn’t left her home in nearly a year. Mourning the death of her husband, Nick, she stays sheltered inside, quietly doing her freelance work while her eleven-year-old son, Charlie, refuses to eat anything but fish sticks. Grief-stricken and unable to pay her mortgage on her measly salary, Ellen knows she has to do something. But when she takes her sister Hannah’s suggestion to board lodgers, she doesn’t expect to find anything more than a way to keep a roof over her son’s head. She certainly doesn’t expect to find herself.

Now, with the help of her newfound friends—Sabine, a bold German woman on the run from her cheating husband; Allegra, a cranky bestselling historical romance author; and Matt, a handsome young magazine writer and serial dater—Ellen’s numbness begins to fade. But when she finds out a shocking secret about her late husband and is accused by her son of being not only agoraphobic but also unable to take care of him, Ellen has a choice to make. She can either fall apart or s see more

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The Runaway Wife
Woman Walks into a Bar
Lessons in Laughing Out Loud
Rowan Coleman Box Set

About the Author

Rowan Coleman
Photograph © Fotografix

Rowan Coleman

Rowan Coleman worked in bookselling and publishing for seven years during which time she won the Company magazine Young Writer of the Year award. She is the author of Runaway Wife, The Accidental Mother, Another Mother’s Life, Mommy By Mistake, The Accidental Family, The Home for Broken Hearts, and Lessons in Laughing Out Loud. She lives with her husband, daughter, and sons in England.