As it’s Valentine’s Day, today’s book review, of a contemporary women’s novel, is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
Rosie by Alan Titchmarsh
“She’s been arrested.”
Nick Robertson has become used to his grandmother Rosie’s dotty behaviour. At 86, a widow now, she is determined that before life passes her by, she will live a little. Or, preferably, a lot.
It wouldn’t be so bad if Nick had nothing else to do, but with a job to find, two warring parents to cope with and a love life in terminal decline, he would prefer his grandmother to get on with things quietly. But, Rosie insists, there is no time like the present. Life is to be enjoyed to the full and to hell with the consequences. She’ll help Nick find the soulmate he clearly lacks and he can help her make the most of her few remaining years.
Alan Titchmarsh’s sparkling new novel is a delicious blend of humour and romance, and a resounding affirmation that there is no such thing as the generation gap.
Review (of the audiobook)
As stories should, this one starts with the action: Rosie’s paternal grandson, Nick, collecting her from jail. It then provides their family background and Nick’s gallery owner, Henry and a potential new client, Alexandra, who Nick was due to meet at a lunch but Alex’s car’s breaks fail and she writes off both their vehicles.
Rosie then escapes Nick’s overbearing mother who wants to put Rosie in a home. A sprightly 87-year-old (not 86 as it says above), Rosie books herself on a sailing course, buys Nick a new car (when it’s revealed she’s overdrawn) and has a great choice in birthday cards. Nick’s father Derek celebrates Nick’s birthday by giving him a parcel –containing diamonds – to give to two dodgy men.
Things blossom between Nick and Alex, who has a daughter, Victoria. Nick’s ex reappears (as does Alex’s) but it’s fleeting and helps him realise his feelings for Alex.
Rosie suffers a broken hip while on a date with Henry, who happens to be a physiotherapist. When Nick shows his surprise as he thought he knew him well but Henry points out that it doesn’t do any good for people to know everything about you. I couldn’t agree more.
Tension builds as Victoria goes missing and the story concludes with a very sad and poignant ending.
Alan’s not afraid of writing intimate scenes while still retaining a family-friendly feel.
Apart from some clichés, it’s a very well-written novel packed with humour inc. ‘He had the kind of face that looked like someone had sat on it.’
The CD start and end music sounded like something from The Godfather which was intriguing. Alan has a soft voice and being the author of the book, the perfect choice.
Rating: 5 out of 5 (despite the clichés).
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaster, editor / critiquer, Chair of NWG (which runs the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition), Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition and creative writing tutor for her local county council. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page). She also recently created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog.
Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List ($0.99 / £0.77) and she has six others (mostly crime) in the works. She also has eight collections of short stories available (also $0.99 / £0.77 each) – detailed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories.
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If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.