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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Farm Fatale

Farm Fatale: A Comedy of Country ManorsFarm Fatale: A Comedy of Country Manors
Author:  Wendy Holden
Publisher:  Sourcebooks
Publication date:  July 1, 2010

Donated by:  Crystal Fulcher

As the old caveat goes: be careful what you wish for it might come true. Holden (Bad Heir Day) addresses what can possibly go wrong (and does) when one woman finally gets exactly what she wants in this energetic, witty tale. Rosie, an idealistic freelance illustrator, can hardly wait to leave her dingy London flat for a charming little cottage in the country. Mark, her live-in boyfriend, is less than enthusiastic about exchanging London's hustle and bustle for the bucolic life particularly when his "big break" at his thankless newspaper job seems just around the corner. But Mark's editor assigns him a new column based on the adventures of a "city mouse" in the country, and it looks like Rosie's dream has finally come true. Unfortunately, it's a nightmare. Their tiny cottage is just as "rural" and "historic" as it appears (complete with the attendant plumbing problems); loud hippie neighbors disturb their slumbers; and Rosie and Mark squabble over everything from gardening to the charms of the locals. However, the lovely old couple next door has a farmer nephew they're eager for Rosie to meet, and to her surprise, he turns out to be both young and cute. Toss in a reclusive pop star, a pushy second-rate actress and a gossipy postman, and decibel levels in the sleepy village of Eight Mile Bottom are soon rising to a decidedly unsleepy pitch. With enjoyable if limited characters and a wonderfully awful-to-watch side plot involving the truly horrible "Sasha Villiers" (her "stage" name), this lighthearted romp, surprisingly unpredictable, smart and fun, is refreshing fare readers can turn to when they're tired of lifeless Bridget clones.

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