Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Headline review (26th May 2011)
Book Description: The gorgeously indulgent, funny and touching new novel from the bestselling author, which reached No. 2 in the hardback bestseller charts.
When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she’s ready for a new start – at work, that is. She doesn’t need a new man when she has a certain secret visitor to keep her company…
Moving to North London, Ellie meets neighbour Roo who has a secret of her own. Can the girls sort out their lives? Guilt is a powerful emotion, but a lot can happen in a year in Primrose Hill…
Along with Milly Johnson, Jill Mansell is one of my absolute reading guilty pleasures. I feel like I am being mean writing that as it makes it sound like I am ashamed to admit I love their books – this isn’t true! What I mean is, when I really need to lose myself in a book and wrap myself up in someone else’s world and woes and when my own head is so full of rubbish that my own imagination won’t work – they are there, like two good friends with a bottle of ice wine to share with you and make you forgot your worries.
One of the things I LOVE about Jill Mansell books is that you know the format – you will meet a male and a female character and spend about 400 pages willing them to get together, thinking you’ve worked out how it will end, will cry a little and then BOOM at the end they get together. I love that. I also get really annoyed when you read reviews on Amazon saying “how predictable” – it’s “chic lit” so, uh…..yeah!! Der!!!
Anyway, enough of that nonsense – you get that i like Jill Mansell so now on to the book!
I read this book as a holiday read, sitting in the sunshine on a balcony over looking the sea – perfect! I spent the entire afternoon physically in that setting but really i was there, in Primrose Hill. I loved it. The first chapter doesn’t bring you in softly – it hits you right in the face and you are left wondering how this will work out for Ellie. I was guessing as i read the first pages – oh, he is going to be a lying cheating bastard, oh, she’s going to cheat, oh she’s gonna hook up with the best friend….i totally did not expect to feel so shocked by what happened. Jamie and Ellie were so in love, proper love, true love. And then we meet Zack!
Well, I have to say that for me, personally, the love story of Zack and Ellie – especially the “finally” part was gripping. It frustrated me, it made me smile, it made me want what they had and it made me love them. Zack is a successful business man and he falls head over heels for Ellie – but you know what, he’s a nice guy. He’s not a “Christian Grey” type – and i like that. I found that more of a turn on than anything in a 50 shades book (I am now cringing that i’ve just implied that one of Jill Mansell’s books turned me on, and that she is going to potentially read this……).
This book is a perfect read. It will make you feel warm and cosy in the Autumn months, and it will make you relax and get lost in an imagined reality on holiday. Thoroughly recommended.
Footnote: I am glad i didn’t mention that i cried – i don’t want you thinking i am a cry baby!
Double footnote: my mum is Jill Mansell’s biggest fan – i really hope she does get turned on by her books……!