A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.
Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where honking horns and shouting football fans keep them awake all night. If she doesn’t find a way out soon, Zoe knows it’s just a matter of time before she has a complete meltdown. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands, which is about as far away from the urban crush of London as possible. It sounds heavenly!
The job description asks for someone capable of caring for three “gifted children”, two of which behave feral wolverines. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the heather-strewn banks of Loch Ness. Still, the peaceful, picturesque location is everything London is not—and Zoe rises to the challenges of the job.
With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?
I read this book as a buddy read. It was actually gifted to me, by the same buddy.
The beginning was very cluttered and it felt like it was ‘needed’ to get to the point of starting the real story. Once we had moved past that bit though I really started to enjoy it.
There were lots of different elements, difficult family decision, hidden mysteries, mental health struggles.
Important choices had to be made my multiple characters and I felt a real attachment to a fair few of them by the end. A lot of the characters also went on substantial journeys- which I enjoyed developing.
I did enjoy the ending but I felt it could have been tied up a little better rather than inferred.
Overall though, I enjoyed the book and would recommend. I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars!