Sunday, 27 March 2016

Book Review - The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett by Jan Birley

Amazon UK
Title: The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett
Author: Jan Birley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied review copy
Publisher: Acorn Independent Press
Publication Date: 4th November 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

Rosy loved her London life – her job in a designer shop, her gorgeous West London family house and of course her gorgeous family (although young sons are enough to test anyone at times). All that disappears when, one unremarkable morning, after one unremarkable school run, her husband collapses on a crowded tube carriage and dies. 

As she struggles her way through the grief, she discovers her husband’s secret life: secrets accounts, secret deals that their solicitor knew nothing of, secret debts and what looks like a secret “very close friend” at least. 

Totally unprepared and suddenly in debt, Rosy is forced to leave London to start a new life with her incredibly reluctant boys in the countryside. Can angsty urban teenagers cope with farm life, let alone enjoy it? More to the point, can their mother? It’s certainly not going to be easy but when you are at rock bottom the only way is up. 

I really enjoyed this debut novel from Jan Birley, its definitely chick lit but it has quite a bit more depth to it than the average story. 

Rosy's life is thrown into turmoil many times during the story, the first of which is when she sees her husband collapse and die, on the tube, on the morning commute. Leaving behind Rosy and her two teenage boys, Rosy soon discovers she didn't really know her husband at all. 

The first surprise and only because it is mentioned within the first 10% of the book, and I can't really review with out mentioning it, was that Simon had bought an Alpaca farm in Dorset, which is mortgaged to the hilt with a bank account Rosy had no knowledge of. 

Obviously you don't tend to come across Alpaca farms in most books and from that point of view, I found all mentions of these impressive sounding creatures to be very interesting, and I wanted to know how Rosy would cope with the knowledge she was now responsible for a herd of Alpaca. 

However that is not the only revelation that Simon's death brings, and the shocks keep on coming, keeping Rosy's family and the reader on their toes. 

I found myself really drawn into the Bennett family and their various problems, and seeing how they were coping with them. Also really enjoyed reading about Rosy's two main support people, her sister and her best friend, who did have differing opinions at times, but clearly just wanted what was best for Rosy. 

If you like stories with children and animals taking centre stage a lot of the time, then I think you will love The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett. 

Thank you to Jan Birley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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