My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - <4 hours
Pages - 416
Blurb from Goodreads
The Spanish House is known to locals as an architectural folly, and it is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For the recently-widowed Isabel, the house is a potential lifeline. For her neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge.
Matt McCarthy and his wife, Laura, have pampered to their neighbour, taking him meals, cleaning his sheets, looking after him and putting up with his crude comments. All for the deeds of his house when he passes on, which should be soon they think, as he has no family. As it is, it passes to his niece and children, Isabel, Kitty, and Thierry, struggling with the death of her husband and their new financial issues they move to the country and learn a new way of life. However Matt isn't about to let his dream go and soon puts his plan into action, with consequences that change the lives of everyone.
I love Jojo Moyes, her books are always really different from each other and her style is so easy to follow, it is like getting into your comfy slippers. I normally take to one or more of her characters, especially the main players, however, I didn't find this the case in this story. Whilst Matt is deplorable and his wife a willing accomplice, Isabel isn't a great character either. Still wrapped up in the grief of losing her husband, her children have clearly suffered, she makes poor choices that impacts them and seems to take an age to come together. I did like the wee shop keepers right enough and the grumpy handyman had some redeeming quality's as the tale goes on.
As it is a country book there is some animal hunting which, whilst it doesn't go into minute detail it did still make me uneasy to read it. The story has some ups and downs, personal growth, a little bit of sex, manipulation, lies, family secrets and problems just to name a few of the themes within the book.
I got through it in 4 hours so it is a good story, it just isn't her strongest although still a good tale. 3/5 for me this time, I will definitely read more by Jojo Moyes, I have read most of them already and look forward to her next.