I was a little apprehensive before starting this book as I was worried it would be just a bit too ridiculous. You know how sometimes in rom coms, in order to make the story work and to inject ‘humour’, the writer puts in the most ludicrous series of events, set in motion through total incompetence from a person who is generally fairly together? However, I shouldn’t have worried, as Kinsella doesn’t resort to these tactics (not for the most part anyway).
The story follows the story of Samantha, a twenty nine year old lawyer at a top London law firm. She’s about to make partner when something happens to turn her life upside down. She has a breakdown and escapes to the country, finding herself in a gloriously beautiful Cotswold village and ending up (through a series of borderline too ludicrous) events, as a housekeeper. Obviously she hasn’t told her new employers about her old life, nor that she has no idea how to cook and clean, reasoning she won’t be staying long so it won’t matter anyway. However, it turns out she has to stay for longer than expected and she develops not only her domestic skills, but also a relationship with the delicious yet intelligent gardener, Nathaniel. Of course, she can’t outrun her old life for ever, and the drama ensues from there…
I read this book quickly, reading the last half in a day (I’m feeling pretty tired as I write this, because I stayed up way past my bedtime to do so…). There were moments when I laughed out loud (Samantha’s new employers are funny) and I really enjoyed the depiction of village life, Nathaniel’s mum, Iris, and the level of detail Kinsella goes into about the more complicated legal stuff. She doesn’t gloss over all the details, which makes the story so much more interesting and engaging.
The reason it didn’t make it to five stars for me, was because there were a couple of moments when I thought the ‘I don’t know how to do anything domestic’ depiction went just a little too far. Would a lawyer, who’s used to working out complex contracts, really have so much difficultly reading the manual telling her how the washing machine works? Would a lawyer, who’s used to negotiating, offer to foot the bill for a mistake made by a caterer? But there were only a couple such occasions where I felt it went too far. For the most part, the story was believable and Samantha approached things in the sensible, lawyer-like manner that you’d expect from someone about to make partner at the best law firm in the country.
I liked the pace, and unusually for me, even found a couple of bits, especially at the end, where I would have liked the story to take a bit more time…this VERY RARELY happens! Altogether, it was a great, fun, lighthearted and easy read and I’d definitely recommend for anyone looking for a rom com.