Safkhet Publishing ~ Summer Reads

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Review: It Happened One Night by Phillipa Ashley ~ Perfect Escapism.

It Happened One NightIt Happened One Night by Phillipa Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It Happened One Night When I picked up It Happened One Night, I really needed something I could get immersed in. This story was the perfect antidote to life, providing the much needed escapism I needed. I did have to put it down, necessarily, but you know that little thrill of anticipation you get when you have a lovely book waiting you can just fall back into? This book was it.

I really admired how Phillipa Ashley brought the sometimes superficial glitz and glamour of the film industry and rural village life together seamlessly and believably. The title gives a clue to the story. We have a young couple falling for each other and love interrupted by a tragedy precipitated by families at war, prejudices and untold secrets. The young lovers are torn apart. Sophie’s loyalties lie with her family. Adam’s loyalties are to Sophie. If he truly loves her, though, he must surely see the damage he’s caused and walk away.

Moving on, ten years later Adam is back in the small village, a successful film producer with a girlfriend (there are some intriguing touches her. He actually does love the woman, it seems). Sophie’s has managed to patch up the wounds to her heart and move on, too, pouring her energies into running a burgeoning bakery/catering business with her best-friend, Lily. It’s a classic ‘will they, won’t they’ story. What makes the book powerful reading is the authenticity of the author’s characters. Adam’s passionate fury is sometimes palpable and tremendously well communicated, as is Sophie’s strength of character, along with her vulnerability. Sophie’s mum I did have a feeling about (no spoilers). I asked myself, but why didn’t she…? Fear not, the author rounded her story off perfectly. Harry, aka Colin Firth in the shirt (and he knows it), is fabulous, you really can’t help but smile at his womanising antics. A wonderful foil and a playboy, perfectly dressed [on set] in period costume to play the role, I loved that we got a glimpse of his honourable, caring side. Then we have Nathan, Sophie’s younger brother, the man of the family and stuffed full of ill-repressed anger aimed squarely at Adam.

This really was a lovely book to read, plenty enough tension to keep you glued to the pages and radiating that perfect sort of warmth that makes you want to curl up in front of the fire. I would have no hesitation in highly recommending it.

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