Friday, March 13, 2015

"Heartbreak Hotel" by Deborah Moggach

Russell "Buffy" Buffery is retired from the acting profession and is sick of living in London. He's simply getting too old for the hustle and the bustle, not to mention the lack of parking available! Salvation from the busy city comes in the form of a tired B&B located in the Welsh countryside, left to him in a dear old friend's will. The only problem? The B&B is desperately in need of repairs and he hasn't any money for them, nor does he have the bookings to provide the income.

At first he manages with the help of Voda, the woman who used to clean the house. Her boyfriend is in jail and she's at a loose end so she offers to not only clean the B&B but to assist in running it as well. Quickly Buffy finds that in order to be able to keep the B&B he needs new customers- and fast! He hatches an idea to run courses on cooking and car maintenance and gardening, all with the purpose of catering to the newly divorced whose former other halves attended to these things. While the courses do prove to be quite entertaining, each for their own reasons, they all seem to have mixed results, but an idea has been born and it's enough to keep Buffy afloat for the time being- or is it?

As various people who visit the B&B struggle to find their place in the world, Buffy finds that he is where he was meant to end up all along.

Heartbreak Hotel is the first book by Deborah Moggach that I have had the pleasure of reading, and I was pleasantly surprised! The motley crew of characters provided me with no end of entertainment, and the setting was picturesque and quite fun! It came at a perfect time for me- I was looking for a read that would be both relaxing and fun, and this is exactly what this book was! There were a lot of characters who we meet, some whose heads that we get inside, and some whose we don't, but they are all endearing in their own way, and if there was one that I didn't particularly care for, chances were good that we wouldn't be spending long with them anyways! Buffy, who ties the whole book together, is fun and hard not to love, and I enjoyed getting to know a few of his children, of whom there are many!

If I had a complaint it may be that there were a lot of characters introduced to us in one book, and as such we didn't get a chance to truly get attached to any of them. I also didn't like the fact that we get inside the heads of characters when we meet them, and once they are on their way to a happy ending they are presented to us in a very distant way. No longer are we privy to their thoughts and I wish that we would be!

Heartbreak Hotel was an entertaining read, perfect for enjoying on a relaxing day in the sunshine or at the beach. While I didn't feel strongly for any one character in the novel, I did enjoy meeting them all in passing, and the B&B setting was hugely fun! This being the first book by the author that I have read, I now know that I would like the opportunity to read more from her in the future! My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.

1 comment: