Wish You Were Here by Catherine Alliott
|Wish You Were Here by Catherine Alliott|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond|
|Summary: Witty, heartfelt and full of the usual je ne sais quoi I've come to associate with Catherine Alliott|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: July 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
The Murray-Browns are off for their usual summer holiday - a month with the in-laws in the highlands - when a surprise encounter lands them a holiday in an amazing French chateau - all for free. Flora is teeming with excitement until she realises her idea of a blissful break as a family of four isn't going to be what she gets. For a start, her teenage daughters are determined they're not going without their boyfriends. And since the family are no longer going to Scotland to see her husband's father and sisters, they must be invited as well. Oh and if they're coming, so is Flora's slightly eccentric mother and if that's the case then no-one is stopping Flora's mad best friend joining the party. Soon the Murray-Brown holiday is looking less like a peaceful getaway and more like a circus. Flora remains determined to enjoy herself but between policing her daughters' bedrooms (and her mother's), a beautiful, French host who is just too friendly with her husband and a blast from the past rolling into their lives, this holiday becomes more like purgatory than paradise.
Let me start by saying, I love Catherine Alliott. I think she's a brilliant writer and this is another cracker. Alliott has a way of making you really feel for the character, you're indignant and embarrassed on Flora's behalf throughout the majority of the book. This story is a classic case of someone trying to do their best and ending up in one humorous sticky situation after another. However, Alliott masterfully evades the dippy female archetype so often prominent in chick lit books. Instead, Flora is a wonderfully relatable and entirely believable forty-something woman, with forty-something problems. Alliott has a real knack for finding heartfelt humour in ordinary life.
I love a good 'what if' story, and I especially love it when I can't guess where the 'what if' is going. Flora's holiday promotes a mid-life evaluation, if not a full blown crisis, for both herself and her husband. It forces them to confront the darker aspects of their past and where their marriage is no longer working so soundly. In trying to leave their problems behind, the Murray-Browns have just taken them somewhere new. In this story, Alliott has created a firm history for her characters, solid relationships between them and a setting so beautifully described you can feel the sun on your face.
Wish You Were Here is perfect, escapist, girly holiday reading. A well-written book that is oodles of fun.
If you fancy reading some more Catherine Alliott, why not pick up My Husband Next Door?
You can read more book reviews or buy Wish You Were Here by Catherine Alliott at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Wish You Were Here by Catherine Alliott at Amazon.com.
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