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A Rural Affair [Paperback]

Catherine Alliott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 July 2011

Newly widowed Poppy Shilling should be feeling distraught at the death of her husband, Phil. But, instead, she can't help feeling relieved. No longer will she have to endure Phil's iron fist ruling over her and their two young children, or his unfortunate penchant for lycra cycling wear.

What's more, when a secret is revealed after his death, Poppy's memories of their life together are turned upside down.

Freed from the shackles of her loveless marriage, Poppy is determined not to make the same mistakes again. Fully embracing village life, she becomes the object of the local menfolk's affections- from Bob, the resident odd ball, to Luke, the sexy church organist. But it's just her luck that the one man who catches her eye can't seem to let go of his glamorous ex wife...

Will Poppy have the courage to follow her heart and refuse to settle for second best? It's time for a new beginning, and a chance to discover what real love feels like...



Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (21 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718156420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718156428
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

'People often ask me if I always had a burning desire to be an author, and the honest answer is no, in fact it almost happened by accident.

I was working as a copy-writer in an ad agency and tired of writing blurb for soap powder, began writing a novel under the desk. I had no thought of publication, was just doing it to relieve the boredom, but I must say it was a bit of a shock when my boss walked in one day and said we're not sure you're entirely committed and gave me the sack!

Actually I think that galvanized me and I was determined to finish it. I did, but it took a while: I was working freelance, and then pregnant with my first child so it wasn't at the forefront of my mind. When my son was born I discovered babies slept for great chunks of the day, so I revisited it, tapping it onto a computer my brother gave me. (The first draft was in long hand, I'm a complete Luddite by nature, and actually, still write my first draft into note books.)

My husband persuaded me to send it to an agent who took it - amazingly and then a few weeks later I had a publisher too. The Old Girl Network came out about a year later and the first time I saw it in a shop, I was so startled I ran out again! I'm convinced it was easier back then to get published, these days it's far more competitive because there are so many girls doing it I'm glad I started early!

I've written a few more since then, but some things don't change: I still get a thrill when I see them around. I hope you enjoy the books, I certainly have a lot of fun writing them.'

Catherine Alliott

Product Description

About the Author

Catherine Alliott is the author of eleven bestselling novels including One Day in May, The Secret Life of Evie Hamilton, and A Crowded Marriage. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Toni P
Format:Kindle Edition
She's done it again and created a hysterical scene,an absolute romp comedy that captures you from begining to end 5 stars for Catherine Alliott.This rollercoaster read will have you in tears of laughter and sorrow all at the same time.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rural Affair 15 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
An excellent read, typical Catherine Alliott brilliance. I would highly recommend it for an easy, enjoyable read that I couldn't put down.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a rural affair 5 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been hooked on this author since her first wonderful complexed story lines of old to her now somewhat roll out storyline of recent years. I have enjoyed this easy read but feel a level of complacency that comes now with each print. They no longer hold the complexity they did in "old girls network" or "olivia's luck" that magic of a wordsmith. is it because they are written on the back of her own life experiences and the places and people she encounters herself. Autobiographical is the sense these stories leave me. Married to a barrister herself with children & horses, etc., tapping these into print. i will continue to hope that earlier Alliott magic will return to set a pace of reading, mirth, emotions, twists & turns; return to stand higher than other authors capable of producing a versatile gripping story & my attention from beginning to end before her work becomes so dilute they will fall to the Mills & Boons shelf. Sorry but its a living to keep a lifestyle & not a passion of story or wordsmith magic; I hope to be proved wrong and go back to where I would finish my new purchase & immediately start it again! wonderful. she mirrored my heart, humour, relationships, encounters, but taken a more comfortable route to tailor her work.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life isn't all flowers and happy endings!!! 15 Aug 2011
By Best Crime Books TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I have read all of Catherine Alliott's books and looked forward to another (hopefully) good read. When I ordered my book from Amazon I couldn't help but notice that there were already 4 reviews, 2 of which loved it and 2 of which loathed it. I was quite surprised by such an extreme reaction.

Having now read the book I can understand why there was such a divide. Happily for me I liked this book. In the intro of the book we meet Poppy, the wife who sometimes resents her mean husband. The type of lady that can have bad thoughts about her husband, although she may not want those bad things to actually take place! As soon as I had read the first chapter I realised that I loved this type of character. The one which isn't all sweetness and light, the sort of woman that certainly isn't perfect and has the occasional dream about the what-if's.

In addition to Poppy we meet her three friends, all of whom are not perfect. Her neighbour Jennie with the disastrous husband, newly separated Angie and the older and chain-smoking Peggy. All in all they are a bunch of women who all have their own issues and are far from happy in their own way.
The story is based around Poppy trying to move on and find happiness after the death of her husband. There are a couple of scenes in it that had me laughing out loud even if they were a little far-fetched. I didn't particularly love the characters individually, I just felt that it was nice to read something that was a little nearer to the truth than some other books you read and made for a refreshing change.

There are other characters that make an appearance such as Jennie's stepdaughter Frankie and some of the villagers and they all added to the eclectic mix of messed up and confused people trying to make the most of their lives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Village life, love and glamour 22 May 2012
By Don D
Format:Kindle Edition
What can happen when a bad marriage unexpectedly ends? This story follows a woman released from a slavishly poor marriage, who then throws herself body and soul into the life of a village that has more than one surprise in store. It's time for romance, gossip, more than one memorable meal and ... oh, read it.

This is well written fun, and I would cheerfully recommend it to pass the time if you'd like an undemanding, but literate, romance. There's a lot of comedy here. Two other funny books I've read recently - and these are very different - are the hilarious Sherlock Holmes and the Flying Zombie Death Monkeys, which is weird and wonderful and great fun (my nephew's borrowed it and he really likes it) and Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir), which alternates between funny and poignant. Both great reads.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and spot on 29 July 2011
Format:Paperback
I absolutely loved Poppy, the main character in Catherine Alliott's A Rural Affair. She is a sweet, kind, slightly messy woman who was controlled by her awful husband. For the few reviewers who said they didn't like the fact that she spoke badly about her husband once he's died, I have to wonder if they know anything at all about human nature. Poppy's understandable sense of freedom from her obsessive, anal-retentive husband, and the highs and lows she experiences after his death are all quite normal and believeable. Her discovery of his affair and her trod-upon self esteem are discussed in an honest, forthright, and at times hilarious way. I found myself laughing out loud in many parts of the story as Alliott uses Poppy's voice to describe her own foibles as well as the interwoven lives of the villagers and the oftentimes claustrophobic but loving experience of small-town life. Poppy is lovely...as is Sam. Yummy. I found the plot vastly entertaining with its twists and turns in the personal relationships of her friends and neighbors. I could not put this book down. Don't miss A Rural Affair. It lives up to everything I love about Alliott's writing: wonderful characters, hilarious episodes, poignant moments, and true love winning out in the end. Marvelous.
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