Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Off The Shelf - A Good Year For The Roses

This last weekend, I finished reading my first book of 2015, and what a delightful read it was!  
Synopsis of A Good Year For The Roses by Gil McNeil, from the 2014 Hyperion/Hachette Book Group paperback edition:

"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 astonished 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 which doesn't need urgent attention is Helena's beautiful rose garden? And what about Uncle Bertie, who's been a few sandwiches short of a picnic for years, and fires his cannon from the cliff tops at random moments? Or Betty, his rude parrot who is not averse to biting people who annoy her? Yet, Molly's best friend Lola is all for it. "My heart bleeds darling, your very own beach, and the meadow, and the woods, and the beautiful house, and Helena's garden, and all you have to do is grill a bit of bacon."

But with her conniving brother running the family hotel nearby, the return of a high school flame with ulterior motives, and three boys 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...

Hugely engrossing, warm and witty, and chock full of quintessential British charm, A Good Year For The Roses is a story for anyone who has ever dreamed of a new start... with or without bacon."

Because mono isn't overly conducive to reading (or doing much of anything else for that matter), this novel took me quite a long time to read despite only being 370 pages, 5 weeks in fact! However, I did not mind in the least because every time I put it down (or it fell out of my hands as I fell asleep again), I wanted to pick it right back up. Each chapter begins with the description of a specific kind of rose growing in Aunt Helena's garden. I enjoyed it so much! I felt like I was visiting with a friend, and I didn't want the visit to end. No complicated plots, meanders along at an every day life kind of pace. There were lovely passages, and funny ones that made me laugh out loud. The writing had me engaged from beginning to end. I absolutely loved it! A wonderful, what I call, comfort read, and one I know I'll read again in the future.  

(For fans of a good story or gardeners who grows roses, or both).

What have you read so far in 2015? Share below! 


Jo said...

From Google+:
Deborah Aldridge8:50 AM
When I was in my teens, I read a lot of gothic novels. This sounds just up my alley. I think I'll try to find a copy at the library.

Bloomin'Chick Jo10:05 AM
I wouldn't call it a gothic novel by any means! Very good story, more of a comfort read. No complicated plots, meanders along at an every day pace. But, I hope you enjoy it!

From Instagram:
1/15/15 juliegrowingdays
I always get such good book ideas from you! Thank you!
1/15/15 bloominchickjo
@juliegrowingdays I'm so glad to hear that! YW :-)

Jo said...

From Google+ 1/15/15:
Deborah Aldridge2:55 PM
I know, but I'm assuming it has the same basic plot: relative dies, leaves young girl spooky house, other relatives try to sabotage young girl, etc., etc. I like stories like that because the heroine always wins.

Bloomin'Chick Jo7:55 PM
Just wanted to be sure you wouldn't be disappointed if it didn't turn out to be Rebecca lol