By Jill Mansell
Published: Headline Book; Feb. 2004
Synopsis: As a teenager, Maddy Harvey was a bit of an ugly duckling, but thankfully she’s blossomed since then. But when she meets Kerr McKinnon one summer’s night and discovers, days later, who he really is, that’s when the real problems start. Because everyone in Ashcombe knows what happened 11 years ago, and as far as her mother Marcella is concerned, she would rather tear that family to pieces with her bare hands than see Maddy associate with a McKinnon. And, okay, maybe Marcella isn’t her real mother, but Maddy owes her so much. It’s Romeo and Juliet all over again. Quick, hide those sharp knives and that little bottle of poison.
My Take: Did you guys know you were along on a ride as I make my way through my own personal challenge to read Ms. Mansell's entire back catalog this year? Ok, I didn't either as this year started out but I am sure as heck enjoying this ride! I stumbled upon her, as you may know, late last year and haven't looked back, reading both recently re-released books and her older books which this one was, all to my delight having been entertained thoroughly. Maybe I should have started a Mansell challenge? Luckily, I joined the Typically British Reading Challenge and these books all fit quite nicely in there.
This latest installment on my quest, 'Falling for You' takes place in Ashcombe, a quiet little town a little outside of Bath in England. I've actually been to Bath a couple of times and loved it so I kept thinking of my visits when I was reading this book. Our heroine Maddy, loves her family dearly, and she should because they are a loyal clan who would do anything for each other and have been through a lot. When this story takes place it is 11 years after the death of Maddy's younger sister at the hands of a drunk driver. Nobody in her family, naturally, likes the family that did this to her sister. Unfortunately one night Maddy and Kerr, the brother of the drunk driver, fall in love, not recognizing each other. You with me?
They aren't allowed to see each other, sadness ensues. From there the story plays out. I liked it. It would have been boring and trite if that was the whole story because of course you know what's going to happen, it's chick-lit after all but there are lots of other fabulous characters in this small town to fill our time with as well. I don't know what it is about British authors but when they set books in small towns they make these towns seem so darn charming that I just want to move there! Everyone seems so friendly and nice. Granted some of these people are surly, and for good reason, but they work through their issues and they are all really funny. Of all the Mansell books this one had some of the funniest lines to me. I could really picture it all coming alive for me.
This would make for a great summer read!
(I got this book from PBS)