The French House – Nick Alexander

How often do you make an assumption about a book?

I made three judgements based purely on the books cover, the author name and the blurb on the back. So what did I think I was going to get.

A female author, a chick lit fluffy read, and a standalone book.

But I was wrong on all three accounts. It is a sequel to The Case of the Missing Boyfriend. But that does not actually matter if you pick up this novel. There is enough background covered for you to understand what happened before. It can work well as a stand alone novel, it gives an element of mystery to the novel and its characters where you can fill in the characters back stories yourself. ….. But you certainly don’t need to have read the book to enjoy the story that unfolds.

Nick Alexander is male and I was most surprised has he has written a very a good female character in this case CC and seems to have got into her psyche and under her skin to develop her so we as readers can see the struggles she is facing by uprooting herself to a country where she hardly speaks the language and to a house which is barely standing some of the time.

And well I thought is was going to be dreamy, romantic about moving to a house in France and doing it up, and despite some hurdles it would all be right in the end. It was not at all fluffy. It had some bleak moments, described through the weather that was hampering any progress on this house. The lack of belief that Victor, CC’s boyfriend had in the strange goings on in the house made me doubt so much that CC had done the right thing in her move to France and trying to embrace the culture and Victor’s family. You had to hope that she was right and it was not all a figment of her imagination.

It did have elements of humour in it, you would have to laugh at being stuck in a camper van whilst you watched your dream house rising from nowhere with some very slow builders who had some strange ideas of work ethic.

This is not a cheery happy romantic book,; although I do not deny that it is a really a romantic novel, it has some rather stark elements to it and perhaps some of it  is a bit far-fetched. I would recommend reading it as the premise of the novel is a good one – woman gives up everything to be with man in new country, rebuilding a property and having to deal with his rather eccentric family who seem to not like the woman. But do not pick up this book if you want a fluffy read, it will not fulfil that criteria.

I think I acquired this book from a goody bag from a readers day and I was fully aware of it as I had seen it pop up on Kindle quite a lot when it was fairly cheap. In some ways I am glad I read it but also glad I did not pay money for it. I think I would have been disappointed if I had. It has not grabbed me enough to go and read the book before this one, but it has taught me not to make assumptions about what you are going to get when you pick up a book. 


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