Okay, firstly I have to say that I am usually of the `trashier the better' kind of attitude. If I am reading Chick Lit, I love the sleaze and glamour of it all. On the other side of the fence, I love a good crime thriller where we see the regular cop heroes turn up at every given opportunity. However, this book certainly doesn't fit into the Chick Lit genre and I would be at a loss as to where to place it. It is a `real' book, that's the best way I can describe it. There is no gush, no fairytale typical storylines, and certainly no murders!
Rosy Thornton has managed to produce a book that doesn't just tell you a story; it parks your butt on a plane and actually takes you there. Her style of writing is unusual in comparison to what I am used to but it is brilliant all the same. I could almost imagine myself sitting in the corner of Catherin Parkstone's kitchen in the Cevennes Mountains and actually watching her life unfold. The characters are written really well and there is such an element of realism that you find yourself swept along with the tale. The scenery is so well described that it has left a vivid picture in my imagination of what everything and everybody should look like.
The story itself was great too and we meet Catherine's local neighbours, who are at first very `French', making Catherine have to work a lot harder to become part of the community. Catherine's sister Bryony makes an appearance in Cevennes after making a radical decision to take a sabbatical from work. This complicates Catherine's life more than she cares to admit. She struggles to get her priorities in her head the right way round. Although both her children are grown up she finds herself constantly worrying about whether they will be okay and whether moving to this remote part of France was a good idea after all.
The book is structured so that we see her time at her home progress over a number of months which makes it so much easier to imagine the different times of year in this area. It also gives the reader the element of how far she has come and what the future will hold.
All in all this was a fantastic book. I will admit that I would never have chosen this from a bookstore as it doesn't look trashy enough for me, but boy am I glad I read this. A wonderful book with a real touch of realism that is perfect for curling up with. I would highly recommend this book and Rosy Thornton will definitely be added to my list of authors to pre-order from.