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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Good Year for the Roses...Review

About the book:
Life hasn't been a bed of roses for Londoner Molly Taylor lately. Newly divorced and struggling to find a new home and a way to support her three boys, she's stunned when her beloved Aunt Helena dies and leaves her Harrington Hall, a three-hundred-year-old manor house on the Devon coast, where Molly grew up. But does Molly really want to run a bed-and-breakfast in an old house where the only thing that doesn't need urgent attention is Aunt Helena's beautiful rose garden? Or care for Uncle Bertie, an eccentric former navy officer with a cliff-top cannon? Or Betty, his rude parrot that bites whomever annoys it? Yet Molly's best friend Lola is all for the plan. "My heart bleeds. Your very own beach, the beautiful house, and Helena's garden. All you have to do is grill a bit of bacon."

But with Molly's conniving brother running the family hotel nearby, the return of a high school flame with ulterior motives, and three sons whose idea of a new country life seems to involve vast quantities of mud, this is not going to be easy. And then Harrington Hall begins to work its magic, and the roses start to bloom...

Warm, witty, and chock-full of quintessential British charm, A Good Year for the Roses is a story for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting over...with or without bacon.

A divorced mother of three, Molly is struggling to support her boys and find a new home.  When her adored Aunt dies and leaves her a 300 year old manor house, Molly is shocked and surprised.  But, the thought of returning to her childhood hometown is intriguing and Molly soon finds herself settled on the Devon coast in Harrington Hall.

With three lively boys, a dysfunctional family and quirky friends and relatives, there is no loss of charm and drama at Harrington.  But, as she settles in, Molly soon discovers her strengths and finds a new path.

Being married to The Doctor, we are quite the mix of British and American in our household.  Because of that, I adore British novels and A Good Year for the Roses is quintessentially British and quite funny. However, it was a book I struggled to get into and very nearly didn't pick it up again.  Molly grated on me for most of the story and I thought she was whiny and complained incessantly.  She complained in her head most of the time, but incessantly.  Towards the end though, she grew on me.

I didn't like the first person narrative and there was too much unnecessary profanity.  But, I adored Harrington Hall and I loved the change in life and attitude among Molly's family.

I saw a review that compared the author to Rosamunde Pilcher.  While I can't agree with that comparison, the story had its charm and that compelled me to finish it.

Thanks to Hatchette Books for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Gil McNeil here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 7/14

* * *
3/5 Stars


  1. This does sound like a good story, but the main character might grate on my nerves too. But it's funny so that might redeem the whiny element. :-)

  2. Whininess (is that a word?) grates on me something awful so I'll have to think about this one.

  3. I like the British type of story telling myself maybe due to our definitely British inspired education system here. Tried to get this from Netgallley and was turned down invariably due to geographical restrictions. This sounds me.