on 21 November 2002
Oh Lord, I can't begin to communicate how funny and wonderful this book is. I'd read and enjoyed The Urge to Jump, but this one just blows by it in comparison. The official description of the book is true - but just does not do the book justice. Charlie (short for Charlotte - her nut case of a father was trying to recreate the Bröntes) finds herself on the back side of 40 and single. Her husband announces, on his way out of the country, that he wants a divorce. Then, she has an unfortunate episode with his best friend and a frying pan. She's got nowhere to go but home, to the moors and her beyond-eccentric family. Emily runs the family home with an iron fist and dabbles in the dark arts. Anne, a hardened war correspondence has come home to fight her toughest battle on her own. Brother Bran - well, is he an imbecile or a genius? Then there's Mace, the glamorous actor-turned-playwright, who lives down the road with his young daughter. All the women in town are in lust with him - except Charlie (at first) who isn't the least bit impressed with him and his bright red duvet. Mix in a handful of truly funny extra characters, a vengeful woman or two and you get quite a wonderful yarn. The dialog is ultra clever, the plot twists imaginative, and you somehow find yourself believing that this all really could happen. Ashley has a rare, rare talent and I look forward to reading more from her. More than worth the postage to the US!
on 23 June 2014
Although I am a huge fan of Trisha Ashley, particularly her Sticklepond series, I started this story with a tiny tremor of trepidation. A republication of an early novel, I was worried I would not like the style as much as since Wedding Tiers I have read them as they have been published, and got used to the evolution of her writing voice. This came about having read the sample chapter which was included at the end of a previous novel, and it did feel slightly different to her more current works.
How lovely it was to have all my fears allayed, as I loved the story and loved the writing, and had the bonus of seeing the seeds of future stories and styles captured in the book.
Once again, Trisha's description of life in a little Northern village made me want to be able to go and live there, and I love the idea of the Christmas mouse hunt. This is the thing that is so great about these novels, Trisha creates characters your are about, a world you want to live in, and a great story too.
The heroine Charlie is really likeable but doesn't believe in herself which is something I think a lot of people can identify with. The hero, Mace North is gloweringly broodingly handsome - in my head he looks like the actor Richard Armitage - and while you want Charlie and Mace to get together, you also want to pinch him for yourself!
The only ba dung about this is reaching the end!
on 26 March 2016
I've read several Trisha Ashley books and they get better. This is the story of Charlie (Charlotte) and how, after various occurrences (no spoilers) she goes home "up North" to her family in The Parsonage whom her father wanted to be another set of Brontes, hence sisters Emily, Anne and brother Branwell. What happens seems simultaneously most unlikely and also had to happen. Read it. And at the very end, there is a fabulous recipe for treacle tart :)
on 9 May 2014
My reading relationship with Trisha Ashley is really like a roller coaster ride - either deep, deep down or very high. Kind of love - hate relationship. I seem to either adore her books or... not:) But I am happy to say that Every Woman for Herself was unputdownable for me. For me this book was totally different to other Trisha's books, written in a different way, different style but it worked for me. Yay.
Charlie is married and thinks that there is nothing wrong with her marriage, so it's a kind of surprise to her when her husband, on his way out of the country, announces that he wants divorce. Charlie doesn't have any choice because it's actually a fait accompli for Matt. There follows a very unfortunate episode with Matt's best friend, and a frying pan, and a death and as a result Charlie must move out of the house. There is nothing else where she can go bar her family home, inhabited by her famous writer father, his present mistress and her two twin - daughters, her sister Emily, dog, and a very controversial siblings helping at the house. Charlie's other sister, Anna (yes, their father was really trying to recreate the Bröntes), a war reporter, is also shortly home, fighting her own battle, their brother Bran is on short "holidays" from work at the university, so it's really a Full House. Add to this mix other inhabitants of the village, witch - meetings, magic, a very famous actor and you have the picture. Don't forget the very vengeful Angie who wants her revenge on Charlie and you are being drawn into incredible adventures and witty dialogues, and a fusion of those two factors made a brilliant, funny, bitter - sweet book that I really couldn't put down. The situations are very unexpected and take you by surprise and you can't really be sure what's going to happen next.
You can't summarise the plot because I really am not sure if there is a plot at all. The book looks for me as if the author allowed her imagination to run wild and wrote what she wanted, not following any plan and only letting the characters to lead her.
What I liked about Charlie is that she really was a woman for herself. She hasn't seen the divorce coming but then came to terms with it and wasn't like some other women, crying, tearing her hair out, fighting for her husband. It was also great to see how she was coping after accidentally killing her husband's best friend (you see what I mean? Accidentally killing best friend of your ex - husband, isn't it ridiculous?) Oh yes, she was whiny, she was not self - confident but when she decided on something, she did everything to do this. And oh my God, how I loved the way she managed the kid in the nursery! High five, Charlie.
The whole cast of characters was a colourful bunch of very different personalities. They were all likeable and wholly grounded, very livid and funny and some of them said really one of the best lines ever said in a book. They all stick together and the relationships between the family members were very complicated, but nevertheless, they kept together and stood for each other. Even after the revelations at the end of the book about Charlie and Bran.
At the beginning I was really not sure where the story is going to take us but I just let it take me with it and went with the flow, not expecting the situations at all. It was a little slow for my liking, and some of the characters were strange, and some of the actions happened out of the blue and I really didn't know what it's about and what's going on, but it was also the strength of this book. The strength which lay in its ridiculousness. It was so hilarious and at moments such unrealistic that it was impossible not to like it and laugh.
Altogether, I have enjoyed this book. It was differently written, with more than different story - line but it had me hooked and I was really curious what crazy things the characters are going to do or say next. Because of its somewhat predictable plot and sometimes absurd approach it's not going to be a read for everybody I think, but I personally enjoyed it immensely and it's really good that I haven't read this book in public, unexpectedly snorting with laughter.
Copy received from publisher in exchange for a review.
on 10 June 2014
I have to be honest when I say that I had my doubts about this when I first started reading it. But I'm so glad I persevered as all of a sudden I was 100% hooked and could barely bring myself to put it down. I found myself laughing out loud at the antics of this strange but loveable family, especially the frying pan incident! An eclectic mix of characters each with their own personalities, yet truly believable. And who doesn't love a happy ending? Well done Trisha, a fabulous read - highly recommended. :-)
Love normally strikes when you least expect it. For Charlie Rymer, divorced, no job, no money, nearly 40 and with one action which is going to stay with her for the rest of her life she moves back up to her childhood home on the Yorkshire moors. Charlie is certainly not looking for love.
Back in the bosom of the family home, Upvale Parsonage, everything it seems is all of a mess. Em, Charlie's sister is trying to run the family home and keep everyone fed but she is having to deal with her father's latest mistress actually moving in with two young children and upsetting the equilibrium that has always existed. Charlie might have sworn off love, Em it seems is desperate for it. Anne her other sister, a correspondent in far-flung war-torn countries has landed back home whilst she battles illness. And the eccentricity of their brother Bran is worrying all the family.
Add into the mix, the dark rather bad-tempered man Mace North who lives close by and this a typical Trisha Ashley novel. The undertones of the Bronte's is obvious, just take the character's names and where they live added to some interest and humour to the book, but it was rather fleetingly without much depth.
While I say it is typical Trisha Ashley novel, for me it does not have the flesh that her subsequent books have. I really did not get in to the story (for a long time) perhaps it was because trying to link all the characters together took too much time that I lost focus on the story? I wanted more background family stuff, that was sort of thrown in to give us some sort of focus but missed the point for me.
An eccentric story line and plot that perhaps didn't live up to expectations. Her later work is much better.