I’m a self confessed lover of Milly Johnson. What’s not to like, a down to earth Yorkshire lass who writes fantastic books. I’ve actually never read her spring/summer/autumn/winter books, so when I was at Barter Books in Alnwick and I saw the Spring and Autumn ones, I couldn’t resist. I’ll have to hunt down the Summer and Winter ones very very soon!
The story begins with lovely Lou Winters in a dentist’s waiting room. She picks up an old dog-eared magazine and stumbles across an article about clearing the clutter. It hits her in a rather strange way, and she decides that she’s going to hire a skip and get rid of all the stuff that has accumulated in her house during her marriage to the tyrannical Phil. To call him a control freak would be an understatement, constantly playing games to undermine Lou’s self esteem and make her feel worthless, so that in turn she feels grateful to have him as a husband.
But when the skip turns up at her door, so does a bounding great dog called Clooney, along with his handsome rugged owner, Tom Broom. Lou falls for him instantly, but she’s still loyal to Phil, so nothing happens except for a great deal of embarrassment on Lou’s part.
All the clearing out that Lou is doing has an impact in other areas of her life too. For a start, the physical exertion of lugging things down from the attic and up from the cellar gets her in the best shape of her life. She starts to thing about how she needs to clear out her life, and not just her home. A chance encounter with her old friend Deb brings back up plans they had to open a coffee shop together, but their relationship was torn apart a few years ago, for reasons I won’t divulge here to spoil the plot, so can they reconcile their hopes and dreams once more? Or will history repeat itself once again?
I absolutely loved the way that this book was written. A lot of books of this genre tend to have one chapter of Lou, one chapter of Phil, one Tom, then one Deb, etc. etc. I find that this can sometimes get a bit in the way of the flow of the book because you find yourself broken off at what seems like the most inopportune moments. But with this book, the switchover of characters wasn’t necessarily at the start of a chapter, and it just seemed to flow really naturally. I loved the way that we didn’t just get the story from Lou’s point of view, but we could also see what a piece of work Phil was, in his own words. And boy, is he a piece of work. I’ll not go any further now, because I really would suggest that you get yourself a copy of this book and devour it in the same way that I did!