14 June 2014

Book Review: Finding Colin Firth by Mia March

Only an idiot would attempt to make a pie – a special-ordered chocolate caramel cream Amore Pie – while watching Pride and Prejudice. Had she put in the vanilla? What about the salt? Damn Colin Firth and his pond-soaked white shirt.

At home in Boothbay Harbour, Maine, Veronica Russo loves to lose herself in watching Colin Firth movies and baking pies filled with good thoughts. Pies that can bring you happiness, hope, even love (everything she feels when Colin Firth is on the screen, in fact). But Veronica is not so in touch with her own feelings and has deeply buried memories of that one heart-breaking summer, when she was just 16...

In Boston, college graduate Bea Crane has received an earth-shattering letter. A year after the death of her wonderful mum, she reads that she was adopted at birth and that her biological mother lives not that far away, in Boothbay. But is she brave enough to find out more?

Gemma Hendricks has come to Boothbay not to find something, but to run away. She’s accidentally pregnant, suddenly unemployed and under pressure from her husband to give up on her career and settle down, away from her beloved New York City. With all this on her shoulders, Gemma would rather watch Bridget Jones’ Diary with a bowl of popcorn rather than face the truth. But she can’t hide away for ever.

With Colin Firth in town to shoot a new movie, all three women find their lives become closely entwined. They might be looking out for Colin Firth at every turn, but they’ll also find new and important friendships along the way.

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Finding Colin Firth as a paperback or an eBook now.

I first came across Mia March a few years ago when I read her debut novel The Meryl Streep Movie Club. It was a lovely, heart-warming family-orientated story that I thoroughly enjoyed, and that put a smile on my face. I was sent a review of her second novel Finding Colin Firth at the end of last year, but for some reason, it fell off my radar. Last month, when I was looking for something to read and this cover caught my eye - it's certainly different to anything else I've seen for a while! I picked the book, eager to give it a go, and I'm pleased I did, it was a great read.

Boothbay Harbour in Maine is a special place for a lot of people, and it's about to get a lot more special as well. Veronica Russo loves baking her pies for the local diner, and is quite well known locally for the special effects they seem to have on those who consume them. But Veronica is hiding her own secret, one from her childhood which is going to come back and make a sudden reappearance in her life. Gemma Hendricks, a married journalist, comes to Boothbay for a break from her husband, and to work out how to break the news to her husband that she's pregnant. She knows he'll want her to be a housewife, but that's the last thing Gemma wants. Finally, there's Bea Crane, who has received a shocking letter after the death of her beloved mother. It turns out she is adopted, and her biological mother lives in Boothbay. Will she be brave enough to locate her mother and forge a friendship after so many years? As well as being in Boothbay, the three women are excited to find out that Colin Firth is filming his latest movie in the small town, and wonder if they'll get to find not only Colin Firth, but true happiness as well.

I have to be honest and say despite the title of the book, Colin Firth doesn't actually appear in it at all, and it was a bit of a tenuous link to the rest of the story really. It worked well enough as a story without the Colin Firth love thrown in for me, but there you go! One thing I really did enjoy about this book was how we got to catch up with some of the characters from March's first book The Meryl Streep Movie Club; June, Isabel and Cat. It was fun to see them all settled down and happy now, and it worked really well to write the book to include them in it. The setting of Boothbay sounds idyllic, and is very well described by March. She makes it sound like the perfect place to live, and you can see why people are drawn there. March's writing is very easy to read, whether it's her descriptive passages or her dialogue, I really was drawn into the stories of each of the women and cared about them getting the happy endings they deserved.

I loved each of the characters in the book too. There's young Bea, trying to get over the death of her mum, and dealing with a massive shock as well. It must be awful to find out you are adopted out of the blue, especially as she's just lost her mum, but Bea actually dealt with it well, deciding quite quickly to go and meet her mother. I really hoped it would turn out well for her, she certainly deserved a bit of happiness. I liked the friendship she forged with Gemma as well, both women in a strange town but finding themselves drawn together through circumstance. I did feel sorry for Gemma, she loves her work as a journalist but is scared of being tied down by her husband and his family now she's pregnant. It's a very realistic story, and you certainly sympathise with both Gemma and her husband, he did seem really nice!

Veronica was the eldest of the women, and although she seems happy, she's hiding a dark secret that is about to come back into her life. I really liked Veronica, she seemed like such a nice, kind person and her pies sounded absolutely delicious! I loved the idea of the pie class she ran, it allowed the book to introduce some more characters who hopes Veronica's special pies could work their magic on them too. I really enjoyed how March brought all these characters together through the story so well, and found that I really didn't want to put it down, I just wanted to keep reading and find out what was going to happen next. The book is heavily focused around babies and adoption, and those are themes I really enjoy reading about so it was an enjoyable story for me, although perhaps not everyone's cup of tea. For me, this was a really wonderful read from Mia March, a story that will leave you with a smile on your face, and a happiness inside you too. Whether or not you're a fan of Colin Firth like Gemma, Bea and Veronica, you're sure to enjoy this book!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a book I would definitely enjoy, very helpful and lovely review!