As October comes to a close, I’ve finished this book before the final week. It’s kept me company during late nights after long and stressful days, with a large moth hovering near my ceiling. No biggie though.
I have to start by saying that this wasn’t exactly my favourite Jenny Colgan novel, it read a lot like Pride and Prejudice without the endearing awkwardness of Mr Darcy. I also couldn’t help but feel jarred when the main character, Nina, poked her nose in the business of ridiculously poor and badly treated family and somehow became their superhero for a moment of superficial busy-bodiness. It felt awkward, unrealistic and somewhat cheap; how the problems they were suffering were so easily solved regardless of the actual mental trauma and abuse that was happening.
I am aware that this is a romance novel, so there is a question of leaving realism at the door, but if you’re going to talk about serious medical issues and the effects of it on a person and their family, you should treat it with the respect it deserves.
As for the love interests, Marek and Lennox, it felt a bit disappointing that Marek wasn’t single when he was the only one, of the two, who actually seemed to have a personality which he shared with Nina. He brought something to her life other than his hot body, connected with her as a person, and yes it did feel surreal but the whole point of romance novels is that they make the impossible possible. Not to mention we know nothing about Lennox other than he likes lambs, farming and his land rover?
I thought they’d at least connect over a book because, for a person obsessed with finding everyone in the village a book, Nina hardly bats an eye at finding one for Lennox. And this guy is supposed to be her love interest, the one she avoids for most of the novel, connects with over a festival, and that’s it. Done deal.
Also what is with his soon to be ex-wife? (not to mention its so hypocritical that shes sleeping with a man who’s still married but not the other one based off of some weird morals?? He only has a girlfriend!?) She pops in at the end for no discernible reason, doesn’t move the plot along in any way, doesn’t help Nina and Lennox connect to each other, and just seems to be a terrible person for the fun of it… and maybe that is the point, but at the same time… what?!
Still, it had great character development for Nina, I could relate to her on many levels; being a person like that, knowing people still like that. I also liked the idea of the van selling books and adored the Scottish landscape. The little notes to Inverness, to Edinburgh and even Newcastle just brought back all these memories from when I travelled and lived there. It was bittersweet and potentially led to me liking it a lot more than it deserves. Sorry.
That’s all from my end, we’ll see what the others have to say.