Monday, April 20, 2015

"Wish You Were Here" by Catherine Alliott

When a good deed done by James leads to Flora, James, and their two teenage daughters being invited to a fabulous villa in the south of France belonging to a famous opera singer, they jump at the chance to leave it all behind for a while. They exchange their everyday worries about the mortgage and their jobs and their future for a chance to leave it all behind and just relax. What they are not expecting is that their baggage from home can follow them anywhere.

James develops a school boy's crush on their famous host, Flora's past comes back to haunt her, and their relatives and their troubles join them in France, and suddenly their blissful holiday takes a not- so- blissful turn. Will their dream vacation turn into a nightmare?

Wish You Were Here was, at times, a blissful and fun retreat into the south of France with the Murray-Browns and their wacky friends and family members. I liked Flora and James and their daughters most times, but the supporting characters were the ones that really stood out to me, especially Flora's hippie mother who loves her family so much! I also really loved James's father, even though he didn't often take a starring role in the book. I didn't like Flora and James's daughter Amelia, who was selfish and spoiled, but I suppose that it is a reflection on how many of the kids of today act.

I'm a big fan of Catherine Alliott, but this wasn't my favourite book of hers so far. It started off pretty slow for me, and truthfully I didn't care much for Flora, James, or their children. Thankfully it picked up for me when I was about halfway through the story, and I started really enjoying the plot, and I definitely appreciated the ending.

Wish You Were Here was the story of one family's life-changing vacation in the south of France. It was a thought-provoking story about marriage and fidelity and parenthood and finding happiness in whatever stage of life you are in, and I enjoyed this light, engaging read. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy for review.