My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Publisher - Headline Review
Source - Bought
Blurb from Goodreads
Rowan has always cherished an ambition to travel. She didn't just leave the small Scottish town where she grew up; she fled from it as fast as she could. Now she's become expert at metropolitan living; she could walk by a million faces and not notice any of them. And her dream is almost within her grasp.
When Rowan does start packing her bags, she has to find room for one very unexpected item. And she's headed not for exotic distant shores but back to Scotland. There, she feels at first like nothing more than a source of good gossip. But as she discovers that no one is quite who she thought they were, Rowan begins to see that home could be where she'll find what she was looking for after all...
Rowan is a wee bit socially awkward and innocent, she wanted nothing more than to get away from her wee town. Living in the city and working for a publishing she is swept up with her flat mate, Eileen, who is wild, outgoing and a total party animal. Rowan is saving her wages to travel the world and all set to go but her flat mates actions forces Rowan to take a very different turn.
The book centers around friendship, family, personal growth and a small town. Eileen is a character who you want to slap, as the story continues her behaviour becomes even more shocking, some scenes are uncomfortable. The story feels like it is split in two, naive city girl and then when she returns home - her personal growth, the impact on the small town.
This is my first time reading this author, it is very character centered, predominately Rowan and those around her. I enjoyed her homecoming, she has the fear many has when one returns, judgement, fear or not accomplishing our goals. We all know how small towns can be but this one isn't so bad. I actually enjoyed being back in the small town more, learning its secrets, getting to know the characters. I actually would enjoy this being a series and getting a book on each of the more interesting characters. The old man whose journal Rowan finds, the cinema owner - she is a wee doll and I think her life would have many many interesting life stories. Eileen! Much as I disliked her as a person and we do get a bit of her backstory, to follow her actual life in comparison to her telling's. The way Alexander McCall Smith does for the 44 Scotland street characters I think this author could do it but within the small town, 3.5/5 for me this time.
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