Thursday, July 25, 2013
G172 E-Reading Book Review of The Green Hills of Home by Emma Bennet
Author: Emma Bennet
Publisher: Amazon digital services
Type of book: England, Wales, countryisde, publishing, sick mother, hospital, mortgage, writing, life, convictions
Year it was published: 2013
Gwen Jones, a young Welsh writer, is desperate to save the family farmhouse from being sold from under her critically ill mother and herself. When she lands a lucrative three-book deal with an eminent publisher, she thinks her problems are all over. However, Gwen's need to be near her sick mother means she’s unable to travel to London to work with her devilishly desirable editor, John Thatcher, and he must come and stay with her in Wales. Handsome and eminently capable, cosmopolitan John is used to getting his own way and has plans for the future which certainly don’t include being distracted by pretty Welsh girls; nevertheless when he journeys into the country to work with Gwen it’s not long before he finds himself falling in love with her, as well as the house she’s so anxious to save. But is John capable of loving anyone as much as his job? And when he has to decide between his goals and Gwen, which will he choose?
While the characters do make changes throughout the book, I would have liked to see more time in seeing these changes emerge. I felt that changes were a little too sudden for me. John is a workaholic who doesn't have a lot in personal life, but when he moves to Wales just to get his job done, he turns into a sweet, wonderful and dreamy man that cooks, looks after Oscar and supports Gwen in myriad of ways from financial to mental and so forth. Gwen at first is proud and seems to refuse help, but later on she begins to accept John's help and also continues to stick to her convictions. There were other characters there, but I felt that they didn't play a huge role in the story as Gwen and John had.
Love is unexpected
Its written in third person narrative primarily from Gwen's point of view, although I also see John's point of view as well here and there. The focus is a lot on the struggles that Gwen endured and it is a sweet clean romance novel without religion included in it. One does grow to love the countryside of Wales as well as the slow atmosphere exhibited by the countryside. The story does place in England and Wales, but not once have I felt alienated or separated from the story. In fact, the story sounded it could come from America, and its easy to read and understand.
Emma grew up and lived in London, before falling in love and moving to Wales to marry her own hero. Emma now lives with her husband, children, and many animals in a small Welsh market town, fitting in her writing around the many demands of little people and cats.The beautiful landscape around her home gave her the inspiration for ‘The Green Hills of Home’.
Her second novel, ‘The Spaniard’s Secret Daughter’, will be available late 2013.
Emma likes (in no particular order): cake, books, Cary Grant films, prosecco, chocolate, guinea pigs, knitting, quilting and happily ever afters!
While the book isn't without faults, my enjoyment far outweighed the few flaws I did notice here and there. I really enjoyed the interactions between Gwen and John, as well as including Oscar the dog and Gwen's friends and family into the mix, made it a beautiful and believable story. What I also enjoyed was the writing style and atmosphere of the book, and of seeing the chemistry between John and Gwen realistically building up. Although I enjoy reading ordinary romance novels, this goes into the non-religious clean romance, at least you won't find sexual scenes in gratuitous details. The focus is more on chemistry, achieving goals, and how and why John is right for Gwen. Some faults I did find is that I wanted more information about John, and some things went a little too quickly, or seemed a little too pat so to speak. A certain plot involving John and his work wasn't sufficiently resolved for my taste. There are also a few inconsistencies such as in one page where Gwen mentions that she doesn't like being alone in the house, while in another she mentions she doesn't mind it. But still, the style, chemistry, and focus on the outside life really added amazing dimensions and made sure I didn't dwell on the negative points I brought up.
Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.
5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)