Review

A Place in the Country

by Elizabeth Adler

When Caroline Evans discovers that her husband of several years has a mistress of longstanding, she’s devastated. In her anguish, she packs her things, grabs her daughter, Issy, and leaves her marital home in Singapore for the familiar comfort of England. No matter how much she loves James Evans, the betrayal and humiliation are too much for her to consider trying to put the pieces of her marriage together again.

"A PLACE IN THE COUNTRY is an amazingly touching story that portrays the reality of starting over again when you least expect it. As Caroline and Issy struggle to find their way to a new life in a new land, you’ll fall in love with them both, as well as the rest of Elizabeth Adler’s quirky cast of characters."

Unfortunately, 15-year-old Issy blames her mother for the rift in the family and does everything she can do to be difficult. Missing her father and adjusting to life in a foreign land, Issy is a typical teenager who refuses to consider anyone else’s point of view. In spite of all her problems, Caroline does her best to keep it together and create a new life for herself and her daughter. One rainy day, on an impromptu outing in Oxfordshire, Caroline discovers a rundown barn perched picturesquely by a winding river and falls in love. In spite of Issy’s disdain for the historic building, Caroline is determined to make the structure her own, remodel it, and open a restaurant in it.

Drenched, cold and hungry, Caroline and Issy wander into the Star & Plough pub where they find a warm welcome and a hot meal. Maria and Jesus Gonzalez, the couple who own the pub, hire Caroline to work as a cook and provide a real home in the pub for the forlorn mother and daughter. Issy immediately becomes fast friends with the Gonzalez daughter, Samantha, and takes comfort in the company of a rescued kitten who earns the name Blind Brenda.

While working at the Star & Plough, Caroline makes the acquaintance of several of the townspeople, including a handsome younger man, a carpenter named Jim Thompson. As much as Caroline is resistant to the idea of becoming involved with a man again, there’s something that draws her to him and makes her willing to explore new possibilities. Unfortunately, Issy is also open to exploring possibilities with the opposite sex, and a house party with an older boy could cause her to grow up before she’s ready.

Just as Caroline is settling into small-town life, her ex pops into her life again, and mysterious events surrounding him could bring all the progress she’s made to a screeching halt. Will Caroline find her way forward to a new life of love and happiness, or will she allow the tentacles of the past to reach out and draw her back in? Only time will tell.

A PLACE IN THE COUNTRY is an amazingly touching story that portrays the reality of starting over again when you least expect it. As Caroline and Issy struggle to find their way to a new life in a new land, you’ll fall in love with them both, as well as the rest of Elizabeth Adler’s quirky cast of characters.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on August 17, 2012

A Place in the Country
by Elizabeth Adler