Monday, 15 April 2013

Books Read: Kate Forster - The Perfect Retreat

Can you live on love alone?

Willow Carruthers – British Oscar winner, style icon and mother of three is facing a crisis: she’s broke, discovery of her partner’s infidelity has left her a single mother and, if the banks have their way, she’s about to be homeless.

Meanwhile nanny to Willow’s children Kitty, is desperate to keep her job and knows just the place they can retreat too – her crumbling ancestral home in the Bristol countryside, Middlemist House.

To both women in their hour of need, the idea of leaving LA seems brilliant in theory, until Kitty’s brother Merritt returns home unannounced.

Although I bought a copy of Kate Forster's debut novel, The Perfect Location, when it was published last year it's still sitting in my mini library waiting to be read.  When I received a copy of The Perfect Retreat from her publishers Avon to review I had intended to try and read The Perfect Location first but I failed that task due to receiving more review books than I could realistically handle during March.

Willow Carruthers had been a successful actress when she gave it all up to be a wife, to rock star Kerr, and mother to Lucian, Poppy and baby Jinty.  But things are not quite as perfect as they seem, Willow and Kerr are in the throes of divorce due to his constant straying, and their joint finances are in a mess due to their extravagant lifestyle.

With the press hounding them Willow needs to get away and fast to try and rebuild a life for herself and her children so is thrilled when her nanny Kitty suggests the perfect hideaway, her childhood home Middlemist Manor, which is currently unoccupied.  But no sooner do they arrive there then so does Kitty's older brother Merritt who is equally shocked to discover them all encamped there..  Will they all be able to live there harmoniously?

The Perfect Retreat was escapism at its finest, once I started reading I could not put it down and would probably have read it in a day if that little thing called work hadn't gotten in the way! It had a little bit of everything in there to satisfy most readers tastes with a mix of sex, scandals, love and romance, but the author also handled the sensitive topics of autism and adult literacy with delicacy.  Having a friend whose little boy is autistic I could relate to Lucian completely as he showed the same mannerisms that my friends little boy does.

The book is full of delightful characters, including a whole host of minor characters, who I enjoyed getting to know throughout the book although my favourite was Kitty who had a heart of gold.  But the character whose antics made me laugh the most was young Poppy, she sounded like a real livewire.

If you're looking for a nice easy read for your holiday, or simply to escape from this depressing weather, then you can't go far wrong with this book, and if you've got a Kindle then you can pick up a copy for just 99p which is a lot cheaper than a cup of coffee in Costa ;0)

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