callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

Holiday reading: Trisha Ashley & Isabel Wolff


Good Husband Material and Wish Upon a Star, Trisha Ashley.
A Vintage Affair, Isabel Wolff.

I knew I’d be on my own over the Easter weekend, so saved these paperbacks I’d picked up for holiday reading. Good Husband Material is quite an early (2000) Trisha Ashley novel. The married heroine is obsessed with her first love and, rather bizarrely, germs. I wouldn’t like to count the number of times the words ‘germs’, ‘disinfectant’ and ‘unsanitary’ (sic) appear in the book. I still enjoyed it. In Wish upon a Star, we are back in the ever expanding village of Sticklepond. Although packaged in a glitzy, Christmassy way, it’s not a Christmas book. Cally’s daughter Stella has a serious heart condition and can only be saved by experimental treatment in Boston. Cally, a cookery writer, sells her London flat and moves to Sticklepond to stay with her mother while she raises the money. The whole village rallies round, so we meet many familiar characters, plus there’s gorgeous (and kind) baker Jago to provide the love interest. I like Trisha Ashley’s jokes, like the local folk-rock group called The Mummers of Invention. But please, Ms Ashley, learn the difference between uninterested and disinterested. It’s an error which drives me mad every time I see it. There’s an awful lot of food in this book, as well as recipes. I think I put on pounds just reading it.


Anyone at all interested in fashion and posh frocks should enjoy this book. After years working in Sotheby’s textile department, Phoebe feels her life must change direction and she opens a vintage clothing shop in Blackheath. She has a broken engagement behind her and Something Terrible has happened, which she feels guilty about. I loved all the details about the shop and the way she buys for it. Why does an elderly lady, dying, want to sell her entire wardrobe yet refuse to part with a 1940s child’s coat? Phoebe feels she is a kindred spirit (the guilt thing) and sets out to help her find a resolution. While running the shop and carrying out investigations, Phoebe has two very different men after her and an abandoned mother to cope with, so she’s pretty busy. I thought Phoebe beat herself up unnecessarily about the Something Terrible and that the mystery something was revealed too early in the book but I still loved reading it.

There you go; three books recommended for light reading.
Tags: isabel wolff, trisha ashley

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