The cover looks like light summer reading so I decided to
find out what happens in THE LITTLE FRENCH GUESTHOUSE. We
get off to a somewhat clichéd start as the heroine
discovers her boyfriend playing fast and loose with a
married woman - their guesthouse hostess in France. More
horrifying, their English host has just had a heart attack
downstairs. What more could go wrong?
Emmy has to deal with the situation, but she's only thirty-
one and she and Nathan seemed to have lost their romance.
The guesthouse stay has just started so they have two weeks
to resolve the matter. Rupert the host is allowed home but
Gloria his wife demands that the guests not upset him, so
they can't explain the drama. Emmy volunteers to take out
her temper on the domestic work Gloria abhors, chopping veg
at Rupert's direction. Nathan has absented himself in the
hire car and two upper-class guests arrive, who imagine
Emmy is the hired help.
I am sure I would have been dropping the boyfriend at once
and making the hostess pay for a hotel bill elsewhere for
me. But selfless Emmy thinks they can probably patch up
matters. Nathan's the one who leaves. With Gloria.
Consoling Rupert, over wine and bread, Emmy agrees to help
him run the guesthouse until the end of her vacation. At
least the weather is good.
I also find it hard to credit that a woman who hated
housework and cooking would agree to participate in running
a guesthouse with her husband. With Emmy we get a glimpse
of the various factors involved, from sheets to websites
and market trading. Her bitter thoughts about men are
enlivened by the rather handsome, friendly gardener and the
accountant, who seem sympathetic and helpful. Stop those
fantasies at once, Emmy!
One factor I enjoyed is that a few years ago Emmy's skills
might not have extended further than cooking, but today's
lady updates the website and booking spreadsheet. Otherwise
this tale by Helen Pollard is a classic revisiting of the
play 'Shirley Valentine' in which a housewife finds her
identity in Greece. THE LITTLE FRENCH GUESTHOUSE will make
you vexed, pleased and anxious; it'll make you reassess
your lifestyle and loves. A cross between chick lit and
adult romance, the tale will find many friends.
Sun, croissants and fine wine. Nothing can spoil the
perfect holiday. Or can it?
When Emmy Jamieson arrives at La Cour des
Roses, a beautiful guesthouse in the French countryside,
she can’t wait to spend two weeks relaxing with boyfriend
Nathan. Their relationship needs a little TLC and Emmy is
certain this holiday will do the trick. But they’ve barely
unpacked before he scarpers with Gloria, the guesthouse
owner’s cougar wife.
Rupert, the ailing guesthouse owner, is shell-shocked.
Feeling somewhat responsible, and rather generous after a
bottle (or so) of wine, heartbroken Emmy offers to help.
Changing sheets in the gîtes will help keep her mind
off her misery.
Thrust into the heart of the local community, Emmy
suddenly finds herself surrounded by new friends. And with
sizzling hot gardener Ryan and the infuriating (if gorgeous)
accountant Alain providing welcome distractions, Nathan is
fast becoming a distant memory.
Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, feeding the
hens in the warm evening light; Emmy starts to feel quite at
home. But it would be madness to walk away from her
friends, family, and everything she’s ever worked for, to
take a chance on a place she fell for on holiday – wouldn’t it?