I’m all caught up! Here’s the fifth and final Friday night quick and dirty book review:
I love this series set in the French countryside! Emmy is a wonderful Jane-of-all-trades at Rupert’s lovely inn, and there’s no shortage of chick-lit drama. “Interesting” guests, crazy ex-wives, and family secrets drive the plot forward fast and furiously. I like that Emmy is soft-hearted yet doesn’t stand for any nonsense… and the other characters appreciate that about her as well. What most impresses me is how Pollard writes about real life issues with lightness and whimsy. GUESTHOUSE is so fun that you don’t even realize you’ve read about divorce, grief, mortality, trauma, and tolerance. All you feel is love, laughter and friendship — which are balms for all of life’s messy parts. C’est bon.
The top of this book cover says “A feel good read to make you smile.” Well, it’s quite more than that. Yes, Emmy’s optimism and hard work make for a cheery read. Her support of guesthouse-owner Rupert will endear any reader to her, as will her deference and friendly respect for the very French guesthouse-keeper. Accountant Alain’s adoration of Emmy is the cutest thing ever. And the Thompson clan spending the week at the guesthouse brings all the joy and camaraderie you’d expect from a family celebration.
So, yeah, it’s a feel good read.
But here’s the “more” —
Return to the Little French Guesthouse is full of love. Real, deep, abiding love. Love for friends and family. Love for one’s country. Love for neighbors and those in need. Love for the cute gardener. Love for one’s spouse. Old love. New love. Without being syrupy or contrived, this book uplifts and fulfills the reader with an authentic look at relationships and the choices we make that weaken or strengthen them.
I finished this book feeling full of hope for humanity, knowing it all starts with just a little love.
Emmy and Nathan take a trip to the French countryside to work on their relationship. But then Nathan gets, um, distracted. And then it all goes in the toilet and Emmy needs to find a better way to spend her holiday. Like maybe hanging out with the cute gardener, Ryan. Or making friends with the older and wiser French maid. Or going into town and finding herself.
I loved the food, the friends, the comraderie, the French phrases, the cute accountant Alain, and the eye candy in the garden. This is exemplar chick lit — light and sassy and easy, but with a substantial storyline, fleshed out characters, and sharp dialogue.
My most favorite thing about this book is the Amazon listing that says it’s the first in a series. Yes!