I instantly liked Our heroine! Val, but oh how I felt for her, being let down by her idiot Husband, especially on Christmas day. Still, I truly admired her attitude to it all, especially in terms of starting afresh. I did however think that her rat of a Husband, Ray got off relatively lightly, really. Connie seemed the perfect neighbour for Val, and I anticipated the pair of them having a lot of fun together in the future, although Connie did appear a little odd at times, for example, professing to being excited at cooking in Val’s kitchen with her! In fact Val’s new neighbours seem to be a really great, eclectic mix.
Val seemed lonely, since the divorce, and I felt that the author dealt with what is an all too common problem, with the utmost sympathy; couples that socialise with other couples, can invariably result in fractured friendships after divorce. However Val’s new neighbours did all seem particularly welcoming.
I loved the cover of this book – it felt infinitely inviting to me, and the accompanying descriptions of Cornwall had me equally enthralled. I just wanted to sit in a deckchair outside one of those beach huts, ready to dip my toes in the glistening water – until I remember the invariably freezing temperature of the sea in the UK.
Val was admirably keen to integrate into her new community, going so far as to bake and hand deliver chocolate brownies. I loved some of the cottage names in Val’s new neighbourhood, with my absolute favourite being ‘Crab Claw Cottage’. Personally, I have always been enchanted by a unique sounding address, although I feel fairly ridiculous confessing this, although a bit like online dating profiles, the reality doesn’t always match up with the picture in your head. A prime example near me – a road called ’The Custards’ – and it gets even better, with a couple of pudding related house names – but when you drive down there, the location really isn’t anything special. I kind of regret ever driving down there, as I far prefer the picture in my mind!
A phone call from Val’s Son in Canada gets Val thinking – she doesn’t want to be without a partner in teh wedding photos, when her ex will be there with his new partner – so she decides to find a plus one to take with her; she has a year to find someone. So, at a time in her life when she always thought she would be growing old with her Husband, Val finds herself propelled into the world of dating. Connie turns out to be an organisational dervish and comes up with concept of building up a calendar of potential matches; one for each month, in the year leading uo to her Son’s wedding. What can possibly go wrong!
i love a bit of mystery in a book, and this was provided by Ben, the resident of Crab Claw Cottage; he was very elusive, with us initially having no idea about him – his age, occupation – indeed anything. Getting to know him could prove a challenge, even for Val.
The more I read, the more I loved Val. I loved the way that she is the antithesis of the average romantic heroine, but that makes me love her even more; it is so refreshing to read something different, with real characters of all ages, rather than the stereotypical beautiful 20/30 somethings that dominate contemporary fiction. This pursuit of a partner started to feel like more to me – more of a cleansing from her ex Husband, as well as Val learning more about herself. As Val’s journey progressed, it felt as though she was growing and becoming a stronger person in herself.
To find out exactly what happens, you will of course have to read about Val’s voyage of discovery for yourself.
Will Val find her perfect date for the wedding; indeed, in a year’s time, will she even care?
Why is neighbour Ben so elusive?
You will find out these answers and more, bundled up in a journey of fun and finding yourself.