A Good Year for the Roses: A Novel

A Good Year for the Roses: A Novel

4.3 3
by Gil McNeil
     
 

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Life hasn't been a bed of roses for Londoner Molly Taylor lately. Newly divorced and struggling to find a new home and a way to support her three boys, she's stunned when her beloved Aunt Helena dies and leaves her Harrington Hall, a three-hundred-year-old manor house on the Devon coast, where Molly grew up. But does Molly really want to run a bed-and-breakfast in

Overview

Life hasn't been a bed of roses for Londoner Molly Taylor lately. Newly divorced and struggling to find a new home and a way to support her three boys, she's stunned when her beloved Aunt Helena dies and leaves her Harrington Hall, a three-hundred-year-old manor house on the Devon coast, where Molly grew up. But does Molly really want to run a bed-and-breakfast in an old house where the only thing that doesn't need urgent attention is Aunt Helena's beautiful rose garden? Or care for Uncle Bertie, an eccentric former navy officer with a cliff-top cannon? Or Betty, his rude parrot that bites whomever annoys it? Yet Molly's best friend Lola is all for the plan. "My heart bleeds. Your very own beach, the beautiful house, and Helena's garden. All you have to do is grill a bit of bacon."

But with Molly's conniving brother running the family hotel nearby, the return of a high school flame with ulterior motives, and three sons whose idea of a new country life seems to involve vast quantities of mud, this is not going to be easy. And then Harrington Hall begins to work its magic, and the roses start to bloom...

Warm, witty, and chock-full of quintessential British charm, A GOOD YEAR FOR THE ROSES is a story for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting over...with or without bacon.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/12/2014
Brit McNeil (The Beach Street Knitting Society) charms in this appealing yarn about a divorcée and how her life changes in an instant. After her husband leaves her for another woman, Londoner Molly is left with three young sons and must find a new home and a means of support. The question of home is settled early on, when Molly’s beloved Aunt Helena dies—unexpectedly leaving her Harrington Hall, an imposing manor house in Devon, near where Molly grew up. The home comes complete with a lovingly dotty old uncle who enjoys blasting a cliff-top cannon, a foul-mouthed parrot, a partially functioning bed and breakfast—and her aunt’s prize rose garden. Molly’s father and brother—hoteliers in the area— are apoplectic that the property has been left solely to Molly and do their best to finagle it away. How Molly outwits them, deals with a new home in need of endless repairs, and moves toward her own version of happily-ever-after makes for delightful reading, as does the fascinating rose trivia offered at the beginning of each chapter. In addition to portraying first-rate characters, the author weaves in a captivating string of secondary characters—particularly Molly’s over-the-top best friend Lola and her tart cook, Ivy—who add colorful appeal. McNeil’s lovely prose and plotting make this offering a universal tale for starting over, and a natural choice for summer beach reading. (July)
From the Publisher
"A heroine whom readers will root for, and the fun quirky cast of characters (and animals) will keep the laughter flowing.... [A] story that fans of Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers will devour."—Library Journal
"

Delightful reading... McNeil's lovely prose and plotting make this offering a universal tale for starting over."—Publishers Weekly
"

Add A GOOD YEAR FOR THE ROSES to the growing number of novels in which unsuspecting women are lured to the countryside to be met with hilariously obstinate poultry, batty relatives, and hard-earned success. Utterly charming."—Booklist

Library Journal
06/15/2014
London-based Molly Taylor, a newly divorced mother of three boys, inherits her late Aunt Helena's manor house and bed-and-breakfast, located on the Devon coast in England. Her inheritance includes caring for her Uncle Bertie, a former navy officer, and his pesky parrot. McNeil (Knit One Pearl One) weaves together a story of family struggles and of a life/work balance, with a dash of love in this slowly unfolding novel. She uses Helena's rose garden to anchor the story, starting each chapter with a definition of a particular rose. We learn not only how the rose garden thrives after Helena's death, but how Molly and her boys grow and Harrington Hall becomes a welcome part of their lives. Molly's a heroine whom readers will root for, and the fun and quirky cast of characters (and animals) will keep the laughter flowing. VERDICT This is a great read for a lazy day on the beach. An entertaining, slowly unfurling story that fans of Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers will devour.—Erin Holt, Williamson Cty. P.L., Franklin, TN

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401341916
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
07/01/2014
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
182,203
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Gil McNeil is the author of The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club, Needles and Pearls, and Knit One Pearl One. She lives in Kent, England, with her son.

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A Good Year for the Roses 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really funny and charming. I've read all of her books. Any mom with boys can relate. Great read. You have to to read it!! Molly is a great character. I give it 5 stars.
MarieNC More than 1 year ago
This is a cute book, and a fun, light-hearted read. The voice will be very familiar to readers of McNeil's previous books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago