A Spring Affair (THE FOUR SEASONS) Paperback – 6 Apr 2009
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‘Another gem from Milly Johnson’ (The Sun on Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage)
When Lou Winter picks up a dog-eared magazine in the dentist's waiting room and spots an article about clearing clutter, she little realises how it will change her life. What begins as an earnest spring clean soon spirals out of control. Before long Lou is hiring skips in which to dump the copious amounts of junk she never knew she had. Lou's loved ones grow disgruntled. Why is clearing out cupboards suddenly more important than making his breakfast, her husband Phil wonders? The truth is, the more rubbish Lou lets go of, the more light and air can get to those painful, closed-up places at the centre of her heart: the love waiting for a baby she would never have, the empty space her best friend Deb once occupied, and the gaping wound left by her husband's affair. Even lovely Tom Broom, the man who delivers Lou's skips, starts to grow concerned about his sweetest customer. But Lou is a woman on a mission, and not even she knows where it will end ...See all Product description
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Lou has been married to Phil for ten years, during that time he's committed several indiscretions, some flings here and there, fathered twins with another woman, separated her from her best friend, yet despite that he has managed to manipulate Lou into believing that it is somehow her fault and she must try hard to stay married to him. Slowly she begins to realise that her life is not ideal. She hates her job, her social life revolves around her husband's business contacts, her mother, who is all about status, prefers her selfish social climbing sister to her. This is not the life she thought she would have.
She starts off simply by clearing out all some of the stuff they have accumulated over the years, this simple act starts her on her way to clearing out the rubbish from her life and finding herself again.
I was quite inspired by her philosophy of clearing out and getting rid of the things you have but don't need. I have started doing this too, in a small way just now, but I plan to keep going until I'm finished.
But the cooked meals every night and downtrodden existence didn't ring true either.....there seemed to be no real desire to make the marriage work in the first place? But I'm a skip freak myself and identified with many other aspects of this book. Yes, I agree with some that it was indeed overlong. But I found the writing was skilful enough not to get bored with each new turn, and I didn't skip a single page. I foudn the de-cluttering very poignant in the bakery owners house - as any widow would.....so again, this add-on to the main storyline was fine by me.
And the counselling session towards the end - so silly for words but hilarious in its short mention! The false pregnancy was described with such intensity that it brought tears to my eyes. So whilst it's been described as typical chick lit in some reviews, I feel the writing is powerful enough to warrant a highe ranking than this.
Slight spoiler alert : I knew from the start that the brown eyed children ----- well, I knew !! ---- especially when they were mentioned several times.
Thank you Milly Johnson for writing such lovely books. The great thing is that before I even bought this one, I was lent the Autumn one, so I shall be able to read that too.
I sound quite negative but I actually did enjoy it and I love Milly Johnson but I could just do without characters I feel I've met in other books. I could have also done with some serious confrontations that were long overdue with some of the people in Lou's life but they never really materialised and things ended with these people relatively too smoothly for my liking. But a nice ending and enough good stuff in the book to keep me reading way past bedtime so it deserves a read I'd say.
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