It’s been a while since I’ve read any Milly Johnson’s books and I’m not really sure why as I always enjoy them. The Birds and The Bees was a particular favourite and I still remember Adam fondly as one of my favourite book heroes! The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is another completely delightful read from Milly Johnson.
First of all I should say, don’t read this if you are feeling at all hungry – you will be craving cheesecake from the first chapter onwards! Marnie has always been the black sheep of the family and my goodness didn’t her mother let her know it. After a disastrously and very public end to a relationship, Marnie moves to the quiet village of Wychwell to try to figure out what to do with her life. As as stopgap, she sets up a kitchen baking her mouth-watering cheesecakes for a tea-room. She has been invited to Wychwell by her friend, Lilian, an older lady who she met online on a cheesecake forum. I loved Lilian with her wicked sense of humour. I pictured her as having a real twinkle in her eye and she certainly put up with no nonsense from anyone.
The were plenty other fabulous characters including Marnie and the rather handsome Herv the Norwegian gardener, who she was determined not to like since she’d sworn off all men. As well as some wonderful characters, there were also some of the most unpleasant characters I have read about in any book. Marnie’s adoptive family were prime amongst these as well as Titus the bookkeeper for the estate. As some of Marnie’s early life is hinted at and revealed throughout the book I grew more outraged on her behalf. She definitely did not deserve to be treated as she had been and it was lovely to see her blossom throughout the book as she made the most of the opportunities offered to her.
There was more than a hint of magic woven throughout the book with the story of the witch buried down the well, the location of which had been forgotten and the resulting bad luck which seemed to follow the Dearman family. Then there is the small matter of the mysterious lights or ghosts seen roaming the Manor House at night. And not forgetting the mysterious little something extra which Marnie adds to her cheesecakes, the mystery ingredient given to her by her beloved neighbour Mrs McMaid when she was younger.
The Perfectly Imperfect Woman was a joy to read from the first page to the last, pure entertainment and a really feel-good book. It’s full of warmth, humour, emotion, love, mystery – and cheesecake!
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book via Netgalley. The Perfectly Imperfect Woman was published by Simon & Schuster on 22nd February in hardback and and ebook formats and the paperback will follow in July. It is available from all good book retailers or you can order a copy online here: The Perfectly Imperfect Woman
From the back of the book
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.
Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. She is the author of 13 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas. She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.
She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts – but hates marzipan. She is very short.
Milly’s website is http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk. She is on Twitter @millyjohnson and has a Facebook page (just google Book Page of Milly Johnson). She also has a monthly newsletter http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk/newsletter with exclusive, news, offers and competitions.