I am back in Brittany for a second book review this week – lucky me, it’s been like having a mini-break from the comfort of my favourite armchair.
Sisters Behaving Badly by Maddie Please
Sisters Kitty and Jenny haven’t spoken since a very disappointing Carvery lunch. Kitty, sixty-two, thinks Jenny is turning grey. Jenny, sixty-six, thinks Kitty needs to grow up!
So when both sisters inherit a farmhouse in rural France, it gives them the perfect chance to heal the rift between them. Except the farmhouse is a wreck, the garden is terrorized by a flock of chickens, not to mention a donkey with a serious flatulence problem!
Kitty is determined to enjoy herself, especially when she meets gorgeous French builder, Leo. Ooh la – la! And Jenny finds the fully stocked wine cellar helps enormously with missing horrible husband Paul – hic!
And as the two sisters begin to repair their fragile friendship, they discover that being bad is actually very good for the soul.
Sisters Jenny and Kitty are very different. Fun-loving Kitty has a string of failed marriages; sensible Jenny has been with husband Paul for over thirty years. Forced to spend time together in Brittany, they have a lot of work ahead of them in this book, which neatly combines multiple storylines and all sorts of relationship dramas - lots of action to keep the pages turning.
As they battle the dust of a renovation project and the weeds of the unkempt garden they have inherited from Aunt Sheila, they can’t ignore the need to rebuild their once-close relationship. Pausing only to sip from a decent bottle of Sheila’s French wine, they start the soul-searching process of unpicking their past mistakes, understanding each other and looking to where the future will take them.
The characters in this book often made me smile, despite the fact some of the situations were anything but funny. I warmed to Kitty immediately and the more I discovered about Jenny’s family life, the more I felt for her too. Life’s not always plain sailing, but there are plenty of entertaining moments cleverly crafted into the story as they try to cope with events that are often outside their comfort zones. I especially enjoyed the hilarious antics of the assorted animals (and Frenchmen) they seem to pick up along the way.
This book was a dream read and the more I read, the more I loved it. I enjoyed the family dramas, the French magic, the humour and the love (in all its forms) that shines through. Add in a well-described location, a few handy and rather dashing locals, plus some tasty regional food treats, and this book had a lot to offer me.
I rarely quote from a book, but I think we could all do with remembering this simple, but powerful quote:
“It is never too late to be happy, to fall in love, to change things.”
If you need a pick-me-up book to keep you entertained now the nights are drawing in, I can recommend Sister’s Behaving Badly. I will be looking out for more books by Maddie Please.
Maddie Please is the author of four bestselling romantic comedies, having had a career as a dentist and now lives in rural Devon where she enjoys box sets, red wine and Christmas. She will be taking a new direction in her writing for Boldwood with joyous tales of older women.
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