Monday, 28 July 2014

Review - 'The Vintage Girl' by Hester Browne


Synopsis (from Amazon) - When Evie Nicholson is asked to visit Kettlesheer Castle in Scotland to archive the family heirlooms, she jumps at the chance. Evie's passion for antiques means that, for her, the castle is a treasure trove of mysteries just waiting to be uncovered.

But in each heirloom lies a story, and in the course of her investigations Evie stumbles upon some long-buried family secrets. Add handsome, gloomy heir Robert McAndrew and a traditional candlelit gala to the mix and Evie's heart is sent reeling with an enthusiasm that may just extend beyond the Kettlesheer silver...

My Review - I am afraid for this review I am going to have to start with the bad, there were a few things that, shall we say, irked me. That is not to say that I did not enjoy this book, I did, but that being said, I have to be honest. As much as I loved Evie as a character, I found most of the other characters pretty 2 Dimensional. They just seemed liked caricatures rather than characters. Even Robert, the romantic lead did not seem to be anything more than that, the romantic, a broody, boring one at that. He is the stock ‘Mr Darcy’ type, but without the redemption arc. Other characters were not fleshed out enough for my liking, and other being reduced to a stereotype, for example Catriona was simply the ‘bitchy’ opposition to Evie, and I think she had so much more potential than that.

I also have to admit, that the plot did not gauge my attention as much as I thought it would. It sounded great in theory, my sort of book, I love history and antiques, so was really looking forward to reading this particular book. However, though the history side was there and I loved it, the plot as a whole seemed to be lacking. If I am honest not much actually seemed to happened. Evie went to this wonderful house to help a family in financial need, but other than that there was very little actual substance. The romantic aspect of the book also did lacked that all important substance. I know this book qualifies as chick lit but nonetheless I was hoping for more build up in the relationship between Evie and Rob, but there was little to none, it almost seemed to come out of nowhere on both sides.

Having said this, I did really like Evie, our protagonist. She was wonderful. I could relate to her, being a history nerd and lover of old things. Not only that but she was a dreamer, a romantic and this made accessible to the reader. She was a very likeable character, she was almost too perfect. I also really liked the conflict in the book, Max, and to an extent Catriona, were great ‘bad guys’, though I don’t think that an overly appropriate term. Despite the lack of plot, I did like the book as a whole, it was charming, and though I don’t usually like chit lit as a whole, for reasons already made clear in this post I think, I did like this book and couldn’t help get caught up in Evie’s escapades at Kettlesheer.

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