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Monday 1 April 2013

Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles

This was a debut chick-lit novel by Pauline Wiles, of which she should be very proud. The story focuses on saving not only Saffron Sweeting, a (fictional) small village in Cambridgeshire, in danger of losing its traditional landmarks to greedy developers, but also the marriage of a young interior designer, Grace, whose husband’s one-off drunken indiscretion rocks the foundations of her marriage to the core.

Grace and her husband, James, are living in Silicon Valley in the US. When she discovers he has been unfaithful to her, she flees home to the UK and finds a small, cosy, pretty little village in Cambridgeshire in which to lick her wounds. She finds herself working for an estate agent run by Amelia—herself not a stranger to errant husbands. As chance would have it, Grace finds herself making the most of her interior design talents, when the effervescent Amelia pushes her into active village life…which also blows a certain handsome young property developer, Scott, into Grace’s path. Teetering on the ‘rebound’ tightrope, can Scott help her forget her rat of a cheating husband, or does her history with and love for her ex provide too much competition? And can Saffron Sweeting haul itself into the twenty-first century and defend itself against greed?

Wiles has certainly picked all the right ingredients for this chick-lit novel, and the result is a crisp, clean, witty, and well-devised book. She has portrayed some colourful and entertaining characters (all of them believable), and Grace is a strong and very likeable protagonist.

A very commendable first novel.  A professional edit has been overlooked and would certainly upgrade it from 'commendable' to 'excellent'.  Lack of attention to some editorial areas were just a little jarring, but it was enjoyable nevertheless. Hopefully, this promising author will address this, if not with this novel, with any future projects, which I would be happy to read.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review.