Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: "Farm Fatale" by Wendy Holden

Illustrator Rosie and her newspaper columnist boyfriend Mark are ready for a change. Actually, Rosie's ready for a change, but Mark isn't quite there yet. Rosie longs for the peace and quiet of the countryside, rather than the hustle and bustle of the city, and when Mark is offered the opportunity to write his own column about life in the country, the two jump at the chance at a new start in a new locale.

Samantha, who fancies herself to be a famous actress (despite the fact that the only film she's ever acted in went straight- to- airline), is also considering a move to the countryside as research for her upcoming acting role. She falls in love with "The Bottom", a house located in the picturesque town of Eight Mile Bottom, and is determined that she and her wealthy husband Guy become the most popular residents in town. She's not prepared for the fact that a reclusive rock star as well as an actual film star have already taken up residence in Eight Mile Bottom, so she'll have some competition.

Both couples find that life in the country is not quite what they had envisioned, but will they like what country life has to offer?

I have to admit that Farm Fatale was not my favourite Wendy Holden book, although it was definitely not my least favourite either. It fell somewhere in the middle. My problem with the book was not the writing or the setting (both wonderful), but the characters and the fact that I just didn't like them that much. Mark (Rosie's boyfriend) was selfish and quite unlikable. Samatha was borderline psychotic, thinking not only that she was famous, but that everyone wanted to be like her (which couldn't be further from the truth). Guy, Samantha's husband was quite despicable, and I couldn't feel an ounce of pity for him. Jack, the farmer, was too moody for me, and I couldn't bring myself to like him either. With the exception of Jack, the above characters were all supposed to be villanous, so I really wasn't supposed to like them, but the biggest problem was that I didn't even like Rosie, the character that you were supposed to like. She acted like a doormat throughout the book, unable to assert herself to her rude boyfriend or her best friend with a hellion for a child. Luckily Rosie redeemed herself in the last quarter of the story and became quite likeable. It was at that point that I began to cheer her on. I require my chick lit (in fact, most of my reads in general) to have at least one character that I actually care about what happens to.

The last quarter of the book saved the whole thing for me. Suddenly the characters were quirky (and I was rooting for them!), and a couple of fun new characters were introduced that made the whole plot more enjoyable. In fact, I would have loved to have had two in particular (Mark and Iseult) introduced much earlier. That may have changed my whole opinion of the book.

Despite my ramblings to the contrary, I really did enjoy Farm Fatale. I just wish that it would have been a little more concise in the beginning, with a few more likable characters. This will still make a great light beach read, as there are plenty of enjoyable scenes and the ending was quite satisfying.

Thank-you to Sourcebooks for this review copy!

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fans of Wendy Holden and chick lit
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, 2010 Chick Lit Challenge

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I love your commentary.

    I hope you're doing well and that you have a wonderful 4th of July! I'm still working through the book since I've had my niece in town this week and have barely had time to pee, let alone read or listen to a book. So I can't wait to get back into it next week when all is quiet again! Take care!