By Dilly Court
The new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author.Tweet
It is 1875 and Nettie and her father, Robert, are living hand to mouth in attic rooms in London. Robert is an artist and has no idea how to look after himself, leave along how to provide for a family. Nettie does her best by taking in sewing work when she can but things take a turn for the worse when Robert inadvertently becomes involved in some dodgy dealing and their only hope is to flee the country. Trouble follows them to Paris and beyond but Nettie may have a way to save them.
Dilly Court has done it again. She is a great storyteller and this book is no exception. There is nothing deep and meaningful about her books – they are just easy holiday reads and I always find them both riveting and enjoyable. In this particular novel there is an eclectic range of characters, many with eccentricities which make them very interesting and quirky. These are largely people that Nettie and Robert “collect” on their travels as well as some that they just encounter on their journey.
My only criticism (and it is a very mild one) is that Dilly’s books all tend to follow the same formula, with a very similar pattern of events. I am not seriously suggesting that she changes this as it is a very successful formula which the author has perfected, but it can make the outcome a little predictable for seasoned readers. I have reduced my rating from 5 stars to 4 stars as a result.
I have read a number of Dilly Court books before and have never been disappointed. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a good story which does not challenge intellectually, but just lets you escape for a while. I will certainly be looking out for her next one.
I am sure there is a slice of the reading market that would really enjoy this romantic novel, but I found the story cliched and predictable. The writing and characters tend to be wooden and stilted, with the story line dull and uninteresting. Nettie’s ‘secret’ is a bit of a stretch, however if you are looking for something to read and switch off from reality with, this romantic novel might be for you.
This book was not a good read for me. The prose is heavy and flowery and the story sluggish. The ending is both predictable and tame. I’m sorry but this novel does not even earn a space in my holiday suitcase.