Friday, June 25, 2010

Farm Fatale by Wendy Holden

Rosie and Mark want to move to the country.  Rosie, a freelance illustrator, can work anywhere and is tired of the city noise, traffic, smells, people, hustle and bustle.  Mark, a rising journalist, first refuses to consider relocating, but when his editor approves a weekly column on the trend of moving from the city to the country, he is on board.

Samantha also wants to move to the country.  A frustrated actress who married super-rich Guy, she wants to get in on the trend, and she wants to move Guy further away from his first wife and daughter.  Guy is not enthusiastic, but when he has a heart attack, Samantha sells their city place and buys a country one while he is out of commission.

Both couples end up in the small village of Eight Mile Bottom, although in vastly different circumstances. Rosie and Mark are in "a restricted financial condition" as their realtor puts it, and move into a small cottage in need of renovations.  Samantha picks out the local manor house, a seventeenth century house she then proceeds to renovate until it loses its authenticity.  Rosie is entranced with the local folk, livestock, local produce and small town relationships and ways.  Samantha, who expects the local landed gentry to beat a path to her door, is less entranced.  She regards the locals as buffoons and the animals as nuisances.

Can these two couples adjust to life in the country?  Wendy Holden, author of Beautiful People and Bad Heir Day, will entertain the reader as they find out which couple, if either, makes a successful adjustment to this new way of life.  Holden is in fine form.  Her prose is witty and has an off-beat, self-deprecating humour that many authors try to accomplish but few can pull off.  Her depiction of Lady Avon coming to visit Samantha (she turns out to be the Avon Lady!) is priceless and had me laughing out loud.  This book is recommended for readers looking for a fun entertainment. 

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