My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1.5 days
Pages - 464
Publisher - Simon and Schuster
Source - Waterstones store
Blurb from Goodreads
Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.
Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.
But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.
The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from the queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.
Marnie has had a hard time with her family, it impacts on most aspects of her life. When things come crashing down around her, a chance internet encounter gives her the opportunity to not only flee but make big life changes. Wychwell is a small village that has much it can offer Marnie but not everyone is as welcoming and soon Marnie is questioning if she has made the right decision.
Oh I do love Johnson's stories and it has been a wee while since I last picked one up. There are many layers to this one, Marnie's story then we have the village history which we read snippets of as Marnie makes her way through the book. Her past and family relationship, her current life before she needs to flee to the village and everything that transpires from her arrival, her friendships and interactions with the village people. There are many secrets, relationships are a key theme throughout the book. I found myself absolutely raging at some of the treatment Marnie has at the hands of her family and how this impacts on her as a person. The behaviour of some of the villagers is beautiful, heartwarming and from others rage inducing and even giving one a twitchy eyeball. I loved the family history and would have read a book on that by itself, I hope it is something Johnson toys with! Other themes that crop up are infidelity, food - oh my I so wanted to eat cheesecake and I don't even eat cheesecake really, cheating, friendships, family, love, office politics, back stabbing, bitchiness, loss, grief, lies and loyalty. It is a busy wee book but very well done and flows nicely, if I hadn't had work I would have read it in one sitting!
Another thing to highlight, the book has a lovely coloured map of the village with the houses and everything labelled so you can follow everything as Marnie experiences the village for the first time. I just think wee extras like that in a book are lovely and get a thumbs up for me, I am a gimmick geek and I love things like that. 4.5 stars for me, I need to look at what books I have missed from the back catalogue and snap them up!