Moyes, a young Brit, again proves herself a worthy successor to Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher with her second novel (after Sheltering Rain), a warmhearted drama. A magnificent art deco house called Arcadia, built on a seaside cliff in the stuffy English village of Merham, stands at the center of her tale. Lottie Swift was born in London's East End but evacuated during WWII to Merham as a child; she's eventually taken in permanently by the Holden family and brought up in their bustling household just down the road from Arcadia. When Lottie is in her late teens, an exotic clan of bohemians move into Arcadia, and Lottie takes to visiting, sometimes with Celia Holden, her best friend, but more often on her own. Then Celia goes away to school in London and comes back with a fianc -a man Lottie believes is her destiny. Her love is doomed, but Arcadia provides unexpected solace. Half a century later, interior designer Daisy Parsons comes to Arcadia, hired by a successful but prickly London developer who has bought the house with plans for making it into a fashionable tourist destination. Daisy's longtime lover and design partner has just departed after their baby is born, but she conquers self-pity and determines to honor the contract by herself. She's befriended by Lottie, now an acerbic matron who scorns her village contemporaries but is charmed by the baby and volunteers to act as nanny. Moyes deftly handles her involved plot, skillfully exploring the different family dynamics; her thoughtful tone and light touch make this a delightful read. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The sleepy English seaside town of Merham flaunts an architectural jewel, the art-deco Arcadia House. In the 1950s, it becomes home to a "bohemian" group, who attract Lottie, a displaced teenager staying with their very conventional neighbors. Lottie soon develops a passion for an unavailable young man; their forbidden love is captured by an artist in a mural on Arcadia's exterior. A generation later, the beauty of Arcadia (now abandoned) draws another young woman, who has been hired to restore and decorate the home as an upscale hotel. Daisy has her own share of male-induced heartaches and is befriended by the now-matronly and bitter Lottie, seller of the estate. Daisy's struggles include community opposition to the renovation, an antagonistic boss, and single parenthood. The old mural at Arcadia is eventually uncovered and with it, Lottie's secret. Both Lottie and Daisy come to terms with old love relationships and are finally able to trade the past for a more promising future. A delicious read by the author of Sheltering Rain; highly recommended.-Carol Bissett, New Braunfels P.L., TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
“…a tremendously gifted storyteller…”
“In a style reminiscent of Maeve Binchy, Jojo Moyes explores the multigenerational impact of missteps and untold truths.”
“This is a remarkable first novel, rich and deep and full of wonderfully realized characters. Oh, these women!”
“I enjoyed [Sheltering Rain] very much.”
“Accomplished debut...in style and substance Moyes is a worthy addition to [Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy’s] ranks....Fluidly paced and cast with engaging characters.”
"[Moyes's] thoughtful tone and light touch make this a delightful read." Publishers Weekly