Sisters, Gina and Sally inherit a stall from their Aunt Rainey in The French House, an antiques centre in the village in the country. There is nothing remotely odd about this but their aunt leaves them with some conditions to their inheritance.
Included in all this intrigue from beyond the grave, is Matthew the rather grumpy, yet attractive owner who had a great bond with their aunt and finds their presence rather overwhelming. Sally arrives with many creative ideas and can see a very different sort of potential in all these antiques which might not necessarily fit in with Matthew's antique view. Gina is in PR and knows how to push herself and the product she is selling forward, she can see The French House has a lot to offer the community and becomes deeply involved in it. But is she also unwittingly selling herself as well and becoming deeply involved with Matthew.
Gina is not sure if romance was part of the inheritance that her aunt left her. She finds herself battling not just bringing the antiques centre or in particular Matthew into the modern world way of involving everyone in antiques but dealing with her growing feelings. Can she manage it all and ensure that her future is in safe hands?
This is the latest novel from the wonderful writer Katie Fforde and this transports you away to another world, an antique one. I could imagine this centre with all the wonderful stalls in it, the characters of those with the antiques they sell, mentioned in reference to the main characters in this book, but actually follow up books could quite easily be made of some of them I am sure. I sensed a place that would be cold and damp, with people stood hugging cups of tea with fingerless gloves, trying to keep warm, waiting to see what the next customer would bring or want. Imagine a combination of those antique programmes that litter afternoon and evening television but where you actually get to know more about the people. All this is very much apparent in the novel and I was fascinated by it all and the joy of Fforde novels is the way something so seemingly ordinary is weaved into the magic of the story, whether it be cafes, canal boats, markets, shops or in this case antiques.
For all fans of women's fiction, Katie Fforde is an author whose books you need to know and it does not matter which you discover first!
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