Saturday, 28 March 2015
Saving Saffron Sweeting - Pauline Wiles
Grace Palmer’s British friends all think she’s living the American Dream. But her design business is floundering and when she discovers her husband is cheating with her best client, she panics and flees home to England. The tranquil village of Saffron Sweeting appears to be a good place for Grace to lick her wounds, but the community is battling its own changes. Reluctantly, Grace finds herself helping her new neighbours as they struggle to adjust and save their businesses. However, not everyone has the same opinion on what’s good for the village. The charismatic new man in her life may have one speculative eye on Grace, but the other is firmly on profit. How will she navigate the tricky path between her home and her happiness? With gentle humour and generous helpings of British tea and cake, Saving Saffron Sweeting explores one woman’s need to define herself through her career and community, before she can figure out who should be by her side.
My last review was for Pauline Wiles latest book "Secrets in the Sky" and I ended it my saying her other book "Saving Saffron Sweeting" was now on my to read list. Well - I really wanted to get back to Saffron Sweeting - so I bumped it all the way to the top of that list and here's my review.
This is such an amusing book, I laughed out loud a few times (bit embarrassing on public transport though!) making it a pleasure to read. It prefaces with the quote "Two nations divided by a common language" and if you have ever read any Bill Bryon books you will know all about that. I have American friends and so a lot of the "misunderstandings" in the book rang totally true. It's like the time I explained to an American girl on the train that whilst she was looking for the "coach" class on her ticket - we call all the trains that in England - it's not a class of travel as it is in America. So I really got into all those little nuances in the book.
The idea of Grace landing in Saffron Sweeting and in effect becoming a consultant on how to "appeal to Americans" was a great concept and so well executed. I could really visualise it all in my minds eye and I was eager to get back to the book to find out what would happen next and I wasn't disappointed.
I don't do spoilers - so without giving anything away - Grace has love interests, there is a will she won't she and "how could she be so stupid" moments which help to immerse you in the book. There's transatlantic travel - which having done that journey just exhausted me to read it. But most of all there is Pauline's talent in writing about people and their traits that brings them to life so well.