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I had never read anything by Katie Fforde, however on the list of books Amazon recommended for me based on past purchases with them, she was an author whose name regularly appeared. I was pleased then, when I was given one of her books - The Rose Revived.
May is 24 years old and living alone on a canal boat named The Rose Revived, which she acquired through a split with an ex-boyfriend. When May finds out that her ex hadn't paid the mooring fees for several months, she needs to find money fast or risk losing the beloved boat which has become her home.
Harriet was raised by her grandparents. When she got pregnant as an unmarried teenager, they were outraged, but let her live with them, and helped her to raise her child, Matthew - in the meantime treating Harriet as their skivvy. Now that Matthew is ten years old, her grandparents have sent him away to boarding school against Harriet's will. Upset, and feeling she has nothing to stay for now that her son has gone, Harriet runs away to London, to fulfil her dream of becoming an artist.
Sally is an out of work actress, living with a controlling boyfriend Piers. Piers is forever putting her down and making her feel worthless, but she lives with him and cannot afford a place of her own, so puts up with it, all the while dreaming of the day she can raise enough money to get out of the relationship.
All three of these girls have one thing in common. They need money - and fast. The three girls meet when they all get interviews for a cleaning firm. All three girls get the job, and become good friends, but they soon realise that their boss, Mr Slater (aka Slimeball) is taking them for a ride, and so hatch a plan to get one over on him.
Of course, no chick lit novel would be complete without a romantic plot thrown in somewhere, and I'm pleased to say that all three girls have a man come into their lives, but I can't say any more without giving too much away!
~What I thought~
Having not really known what to expect from this author, I'm glad to say, that I really enjoyed this book.
All three of the main characters are immediately likeable, and as all three have their own stories, I was quickly interested to find out what happened to each girl.
I think the best way to sum up the book is probably 'charming'. There are lots of references to living on a canal boat, and later in the story, we head into rural living. To me, the world of canal boats and boarding schools is a bit alien, however everything is really brought to life, and you really feel you know the characters and their way of living well.
The latter part of the book is set around Christmas time, which gives this book a sort of warm, cosy feel - more a book to curl up with on a cold, rainy day than one for the beach, I feel.
The part of the book I felt most disappointed with was the ending. Obviously, I will not tell you what it is, however I must admit, I found it a bit rushed, and I almost felt the book went on too long and could have ended pages sooner than it actually did.
Despite my disappointment with the ending of the book, and the fact it is quite steady paced - no huge twists and turns to report, I'm afraid - I still enjoyed it. It was a real feel good book and I will look forward to reading more by Katie Fforde in the future.