A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: July 21st 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE HUSBAND SHE'S LOATHED FOR YEARS SUDDENLY DIES?
Poppy Shilling may have fantasized about her boring husband slipping on ice on his way to get the paper or contracting malaria from a mosquito bite, but she never imagined Phil would leave her so suddenly. When a freak cycling accident takes out her Lycra -- wearing husband, Poppy can't help but feel relieved rather than distraught.
But when a mysterious visitor arrives after the funeral bearing secrets about her husband, Poppy quickly learns that Phil was not exactly the man she thought he was -- and she might not be the woman she thought she was, either.
International bestselling author Catherine Alliott crafts an endearing and quirky "what if" story that will make your heart sing as you follow Poppy on her unforgettable journey.
Poppy Shilling is in a loveless marriage. Her husband Phil works all the time and then goes out and rides his bicycle. He’s constantly Lycra-clad which, is not necessarily a good look for him. He’s never home to help take care of their two children and gets more and more irritated with them all the time. Poppy wonders how he’ll die. Will he be walking under scaffolding and get hit by a rogue falling hammer? Or will it be something simpler. What it ends up being is completely freaky and a bit shocking. She’s not exactly sure how to feel about his death at first but shock is definitely one of those feelings.
Not long after the funeral she’s visited by a woman who tells her that her husband was having an affair with her – for four freaking years! To say that Poppy went into a bit of a depression was putting it mildly. She figured there was something wrong with her that made her husband stray for so long but she finally realizes, with the help of her friends, that it wasn’t her that had the issues, it was Phil!
Poppy is soon introduced to her solicitor who is new in town but his father always worked for Phil. Sam Hetherington is wonderful and Poppy is infatuated. It may seem too soon to some people but Poppy had been practically a single parent for years so it didn’t seem all that wrong. As much as she likes Sam he gives off varied signals and as a reader I was so confused by them. He was distant, then he wasn’t, then he was distant again and it went on and on. Poppy made a complete fool of herself because of Sam on more than one occasion and I felt sorry for her as she wasn’t the only one who thought she looked like a fool, most of the town did too.
The story is about Poppy finding her way through all of the ins and outs of her life now that Phil is gone. She dates a guy but she’s not sure she likes him all that well. Her and her friends start a book club but that soon ends. She’s not sure how she’s supposed to feel most of the time and I found myself understanding her confusion but yet wanting her to stop floundering around and get her head on straight. On one hand I liked her close friends, Peggy, Angie and Jennie very well but yet at times found them to be pretty rude. (Jennie, her husband Dan and their family was especially entertaining.) This just didn’t sit well with me. Peggy was always wonderful but Angie and Jennie seemed to tear Poppy down to make themselves look good and I didn’t like that at all.
Poppy is a misfit and in her town everyone knows everyone’s business. I got a bit tired of it even though I usually love small town stories. I was very near the end of the book when I realized the author was going to try to stick a “romance” in there and have Poppy have her HEA. I wanted it to happen earlier in the book, yet when it did I was disappointed in the suddenness and the fact that this person was professing their love and they’d hardly spent any time together at all. I guess being a reader of romance novels I expected more and this didn’t hit the mark.
Overall it was an relatively entertaining read but a bit long for my liking. It felt like it meandered when it should have been doing a fast walk. lol. I might try other book by this author in the future but I would have to get a glowing recommendation from a friend before I did.
Rating: 3 out of 5
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This book is available from Michael Joseph-Penguin. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.