A Place in the Country
Genre: Women's Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): Fifteen-year-old Issy, and a newly-single mother, Caroline Evans, are struggling to find their way alone, as well as together. At thirty-eight, Caroline is coming to terms with this new life, even though she has little money and all the responsibility for the two of them. When she decides to leave their well-off lives in Singapore (and her cheating husband and his long-time mistress and powerhouse), she ends up living in an English village pub, cooking dinners to earn enough to get by on; meeting unexpectedly quirky people, and making friends. But Issy still adores her father and secretly blames her mother for their change in life. When Caroline’s dream of restoring an old barn into a restaurant finally begins to come true, her chance at happiness hangs in the balance as whispers of murder and vengeance find their way to her. When Issy, hovering in that limbo between girl and young woman, begins to make some dangerous choices, the stakes are raised even higher. A PLACE IN THE COUNTRY is filled with emotions that every woman will recognize as Caroline and Issy make their way in the world and do battle with those who would wish to see them lose their chances to gain their hearts’ desires. Love and hate, blame and responsibility, deception and trust all collide in this novel that is Elizabeth Adler at her page-turning best.
Review: I admit I chose this book because of the cover, with a photo of a girl walking on a rustic path in a beautiful garden full of hydrangeas (I'm a sucker for hydrangeas). The description sound like something I would enjoy, too: a single mother of a teenage daughter moves to the English countryside to open her own restaurant.
I couldn't stand it! The characters were trite and one-dimensional, and I didn't like the spoiled teenage daughter, the flirty, indecisive, weepy mother, or any of the other overly dramatic characters. The storyline was stereotypical, yet unbelievable (the mother has three wealthy men in love with her, really?) It was confusingly written from multiple points of view, with no concept of the time that was passing. But most of all, I couldn't stand the author's use of either italics or quotes to accent certain words, which has to be grammatically incorrect as well as annoying. For example, "...wondering how to put their new 'home' in order..." or "....she hadn't really ever been a 'chef'...had she been 'a woman' first? Or 'a wife'?" It read like the book didn't have an editor.
Do NOT read this book.
Rating: 1 star