09 March 2010

Love Nest

By Julia Llewellyn
Published by the Penguin Group
April 2010

Let's start at the same place the book does - the prelude. I thought this was the set-up for the book; however, it only set up one story and that story turned out to be the least interesting of the book. Grace is at her mother's funeral and learns she has to sell the family home. But wait, Grace is lonely (because she is fat); she had a poisonous relationship with her mother (because she is fat); she has low self-esteem (because she is fat); everyone looks down on her (because she is fat). Cliched, to say the least.

But, that particular storyline aside, Llewellyn has written a good book of buying and selling real estate and the stories of the families involved in the transactions. Grace doesn't want to sell her childhood home in the country, Chadlicote Manor, but Karen's husband, Phil, is desperate for it after battling with cancer and wanting to make a fresh start. Gemma and Alex want Karen and Phil's home because they want to start a family and feel a home just outside London would be better than Phil's bachelor flat. Up and coming rock star, Nick, wants the bachelor flat and plans to buy it without telling his long-time girlfriend so he can dump her as soon as the sale goes through. Lucinda is the real estate agent who wants to work at her wealthy father's business but has to prove to her father she has the business skills to do so.

All in all, in the great realm of chick-lit, this is a good book. The stories are interesting, one story flows seamlessly into another, and the balance of love and hate the reader feels toward the characters is in good proportion.

Recommended for all those who are looking for something a little bit different in the field of women's literature.


TreeDiva said...

This sounds like a neat idea for linked stories. Getting the place they want is contingent on strangers whose story they don't know---or do the characters come to know the backstory of the people's house they are buying or who are buying theirs? Does the author overlap/interweave the stories or are they connected only in the reader's mind, and unknown to the various characters?

Nancy Barnes said...

Some of the characters meet the owners when they view the homes they are interested in; other characters only guess about the lives of the occupants of the homes based on what they see at the various viewings. But, yes, it was an excellent device for linking the various stories.