The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker
|The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: Housesitting is a fun hobby for Jenny, and there’s nothing like a rummage around a celeb’s house to pass a fortnight, but between men, machines and mutts, she’s got her hands full this time.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: June 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
Jenny is a teacher who sometimes spends her school holidays housesitting, and that’s just what she’s up to now, spending a couple of weeks in the country. It’s a happy coincidence that the house she’s placed at is a grand manor, owned by two well-known writers, because she herself is into literature, teaches the subject, and also works a bit as a proof reader. It’s a match made in housesitting heaven.
And it should be a wonderful, relaxing fortnight. The sun is shining and as a keen swimmer she’s thrilled to find the family have a pool. She has nothing to do but play house and keep their dog entertained. Easy money, surely?
But there are a few things Jenny hasn’t counted on, like the dubious staff who work at the house, nosy neighbours, and a boisterous beast of a dog. Before she knows it, she’s dragging furniture back up from the bottom of the swimming pool, ironing manuscripts after unfortunate accidents with precious pages, and repairing destroyed paintings after fluke misfortunes. Each day brings a further comedy of errors and Jenny is soon thinking fondly of her much simpler everyday life. Can a little love interest help soothe the stress?
What this book does well is show the grass is not always greener. Jenny initially finds the Lewis’s house makes her nostalgic for her own family life of years gone by, a happy home with her twins before they scattered to different corners of the world. She soon sees, though, that only a tiny bit below the surface, all is not what it seems in her adopted home, and unhappy families are all unhappy in their own, unique, screwed up way.
While I enjoyed this entertaining book, it is a touch over the top at times, leaving me convinced that no one could have quite so much bad luck in one short week. It’s clear Jenny likes dogs, and you have to too if you’re going to read this, because page after page, chapter after chapter, he have accounts of walking Gunter and chasing Gunter and clearing up after Gunter. There was perhaps just a bit too much dog for me, if I’m honest. It was also a bit slapstick in places, and I never really managed to immerse myself fully in it and forget I was reading a work of fiction. This book also seems to contain the longest days ever, with more adventure (and misadventure) packed into 24 hours than you might have thought possible. In fact, I often forgot we were still on the same day for a few chapters until I turned the final page and suddenly learnt it was now Wednesday or Sunday.
I mustn’t be too negative, though, because this is a fun summer read that is easy to flick through. I must say it wasn’t the most compelling thing I’ve read this year – I enjoyed it enough while reading but when I put it down for a bit I found a few days could pass without my bothering to return to it to pick up the story.
I’d like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy. If you like light summer reads, we can also recommend The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker at Amazon.com.
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