by Jodi Taylor
According to Russell’s many books on the subject, hen houses should be light and airy. This one looked like a Dickensian workhouse.
‘No one who has met you could ever forget you. I certainly can’t.’ I felt tears well up. ‘Why are you crying?’ he demanded, slightly panic-stricken. ‘What did I say?’ ‘Something nice.’ He seemed indignant. ‘I say nice things all the time. I’m famed for it.’
A very worthy sequel to the charming and unusual The Nothing Girl. Not quite the impact as the first book, as the arc that Jenny takes is not quite as dramatic. She is safe and sound, adored by her husband and ersatz family (even though she does not always realize it. She still struggles, sometimes, with very low self-esteem.) The plot revolves around her happy home being threatened by an enemy from the past and how she is able to triumph in the end. There were chuckles throughout while the subplot of Jack, the new kid on the block, brought the tears. As a big fan of unconventional heroes, Russell Checkland is in a class by himself.
The domesticity of the world and the comedy reminded me of Betty Macdonald or We Took to the Woods by Louise Rich. Old childhood favorites. I wish Jodi Taylor would draw the Chronicles of Saint Marys to an end, and concentrate her talents on book like these.
October 2, 2017