Romance, community and small businesses, this book offers many elements of a relaxing and enjoyable read. The story of Laura, her life which has been put on hold by a tragedy that haunts her and the actions she takes to preserve what she loves, is generously written. Bruce has been damaged by a relationship, as has his Uncle Keith who has hopes of finding a new love despite the odds. The dialogue of this rich novel is convincing and often funny, as the characters spend time discovering that nothing in life and love runs smoothly, and that even perfect days can be marred by unavoidable hitches. Not that anything goes to plan in this book of the daily life of a small part of Glasgow, as people realise that what they want is not always possible, or at least in the way they imagined. Old friends and new come together in this book which is intended to be the first in a series. It has been a pleasure to read and review this enjoyable book.
The book opens with Laura dealing with her most awkward customer in the restaurant that she works in, Valentino’s, before her boss drops the bombshell that she selling up and moving on. Devastated from the loss of her security found after a life changing loss, she develops a scheme that will potentially keep Natalie in the area. In doing so she involves her friend Bruce who works in the pub opposite, The Crooked Thistle, who has always found her attractive. Yvonne, her flatmate, suggests that there are many forms of romance, as she pursues her own relationship. When Laura finds herself in desperate need, who will come to her rescue? Will Natalie remain in Glasgow despite her own loss? How will Bruce rebuild his life when he has been so badly let down? What was the bombshell that came at the end of a marriage? What was Laura’s ambition before her life was overturned in a moment? How will careers and dreams fit together? What is the meaning of a painting which provokes such different reactions?
This book is the sort that is effortless to read and enjoy with its gentle humour. An intelligent romance with some interesting twists, this book deals with a small geographical area with influences from events elsewhere. I enjoyed the warm sense of community which runs through this book, with the appeal of people who know and care about each other. Even the small characters have their roles to play, and each one has the potential to be interesting and important to the plot. This is the sort of read that would be ideal as a holiday choice, as it is essentially a happy book. Not challenging, but with enough substance to be satisfying. I do hope that it proves to be the first in a series of books which I am sure will all succeed. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a lighter read, and I look forward to reading more from this undoubtedly talented author.
Meanwhile, back at the Vicarage, we are taking care of two tortoises temporarily. Stanhope (probably female) and Livingstone (probably male) live up to their names as explorers by wandering down the hall having left the study behind. Will Selwyn the Vicarage cat put up with these visitors? Can we get them to eat the interesting selection of green leaves we are supplying them? Will it ever get warm enough for them? Watch this space for more details…