I have three criteria for recreational reading:
- It has to be at least a little funny.
- I want to like the protagonist
- The book’s main social value is that I can escape into it.
A Good Year For The Roses is a novel about newly divorced Londoner Molly, who inherits a bed-and-breakfast in the coastal area where she grew up. She and her three children start new country lives there, living in the aging building that Molly successfully renovates.
Along with the house, Molly inherits responsibility for her mildly deranged uncle. He and the house “staff” become her extended family and she develops a closer relationship with her mother who lives nearby. Her father and brother are selfish and manipulative but she learns how to deal with them. Since this is where she’s from, and her children are still in school, Molly is able to create a social life.
Molly’s kindness to the people in her new life is rewarded when she temporarily finds herself in need of help. Her loved ones rally to her aid, some a lot more than others.
Her three sons are depicted as too good to be real. I know how boys can be within the family and her three are much less rambunctious than I would expect.
Amid noise, mud and nature the family succeeds. Molly and her children thrive, as does her business. Her mother develops inner strength that, I suspect, is inspired by her own daughter. It’s a sweet book.