>> Friday, July 22, 2011
Ellie Summers’ life starts unravelling. A couple of months ago, she was quite happy living with her boyfriend Rick in their little cottage, producing paintings of local peoples’ homes. But now, finding herself pregnant – and Rick less than thrilled about imminent parenthood – things seem rather more complicated.Both Grace and Ellie are in difficult moments in her lives. Grace is newly divorced and stuck with a lovely old house that is unfortunately practically falling down around her ears. Keeping it up is difficult on the money she makes as a wine writer, so she takes in a lodger. Ellie has just been dumped by her boyfriend when she became pregnant, and Grace's place is perfect for her.
Grace Soudley’s life has been coming apart for more than a couple of months. Abandoned by her husband, her only real security is the wonderful old house she was left by her godmother. But unless Grace can find a large sum of money to sort out the dry rot, Luckenham House will disintegrate around her.
When Ellie and Grace meet, the two very different women find they can help each other out. Ellie needs a place to stay; Grace needs a lodger. Both need a friend. But then Grace’s step-daughter Demi arrives on the scene, followed by the disconcertingly engaging Flynn Cormack – who seems determined to help. And when Grace discovers some beautiful painted panels hidden behind the tattered dining-room curtains, the whole business of restoration starts to get serious...
What I liked:
Reading a Katie Fforde book is like slipping into a warm bath. Her books might not be particularly exciting, but they're warm and comforting, and I quite like the way she combines an old-fashioned English feel with more modern plots and characters.
I also liked how Grace and Ellie gradually become good friends, and then in effect, family, as they support each other in dealing with challenges such as a needy teenager, family pressures and the intriguing men who come into their lives.
Finally, the final, almost Poirot-esque scene was fun.
What I disliked:
I can't honestly say I disliked anything, but there's that "unexciting" thing. I liked this, but didn't love it.
MY GRADE: A B.