Does anyone else have or had this problem, and has any idea for me how to remedy it? I am using Mozilla's Firefox as a browser.
Now to the book review: "Village Fortunes" is the 17th installment of the Turnham Malpas series by Rebecca Shaw. Some years ago, my mother-in-law sent me the first three, and then kept sending them in small doses, until I was hooked and wanted to know what was happening in the village and to its inhabitants.
(You can find my review for book # 16 here.)
Some of you will probably shake your heads at my sometimes very simple literary taste, because not even the author's best friend could attribute a really good writing style to her. Usually, I appreciate books when the language is elegant without being too "artsy" in a forced manner. Well, the Turnham Malpas series is certainly neither elegant nor artsy - just cosy village stories that make you unwind when your brain has been very busy all day long with matters as dry as writing a manual for an insurance company's automatic document archivation system (one of my current projects).
An example of the sometimes "wooden" style (which, in my opinion, could have been edited to improve):
They spent a stormy Saturday, kind of speaking but not speaking all day, and Marie was glad when it was half past nine and she heard Barry tap softly on the back door. That was significant in itself coming to the back door as everyone used the front door because that was the easiest, seeing the way round the house was built.That second sentence is, in my opinion, a misconstruction. It sounds like something a 6th-former would write. Or am I too picky?
In this book, Turnham Malpas' "big house" is inhabited by the young heir, his wife and their two babies. The heir's brother, who leads a hotel business in Brazil, comes visiting, and that visit is the cause for most of the drama in the story.
Also, a couple of former residents return to the village after a stint in prison, and opinions vary in the village as to whether that was a good idea or not. While generally, the couple are welcomed with open arms, there are still some who think that the prison sentence was deserved, and are quick to come to conclusions when the lead from the church roof is stolen.
The village shop owner's youngest daughter is torn between wanting to stay in the village and work at the shop and following her older siblings to university. Also, a secret love interest complicates matters, and eventually nearly puts her life in danger.
Another village character wants to find his now grown-up sons that were taken away by his ex-wife when they were little; after a life dedicated to business, he now feels he wants a proper family.
All these tales are intertwined because the characters know each other and live in the same village. There are many familiar faces, and a few new ones. It is a bit embarrassing, but I have to admit I can not remember the returning couple from previous books; I know I have read them all, but probably was not terribly interested in them the first time they appeared on the scene.
I must also admit that I enjoyed this book more than I remember having enjoyed the previous one. Be it that I was in the right mood, or that the writing was slightly better this time, I don't know. One thing I do know for sure, though: I will also make sure to get # 18.