The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: 22nd February 2018
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 464
Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction
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.
Marnie Salt hasn’t had an easy life – she was adopted and has never felt loved. She’s never had luck with people, family, boyfriends or friends. But on the cheesecake forum in internet she’s just met Lilian – the right person at the right time. Lilian is older than Marnie but it doesn’t stop them from forming a firm, strong friendship and soon Marnie finds herself in Wychwell. Marnie blossoms – she can finally bake cheesecakes and she’s finally happy with her life. She doesn’t plan on staying there forever, she only wants to heal her heart and consider her future. But then something happens that puts Marnie’s whole world upside down. She must make difficult decisions and must learn to stand up for herself. Will she manage?
One of the strengths of Milly Johnson’s books are the characters. She can brilliantly capture the essence of her characters and paint them in such realistic, but also friendly, way. They are full of flaws, they sometimes don’t tell the whole truth, they make mistakes but ultimately they are so human, and I simply love this. So I loved Marnie. Simply loved her. I would only like to see her telling some truths to her mother, because she should have done it. Marnie has problems, sometimes her decisions are not the wisest ones but that’s the thing – it only made her more down – to – earth and genuine. She had a big and giving heart and probably this is why all the problems always found her, as she was too trusty and naive and has seen only good things in people. She had a lot of growing up to do, our Marnie, and Milly Johnson really well led her main character on this journey.
The setting in this book is gorgeous and original, and Wychwell, small village in Yorkshire, has such a great story to tell! It was a village like no other, with its own rules and politics!
Yes, it sometimes felt like a witch – hunt there, and there were moments it felt so isolated and so closed but it was also the charm of this place and most of the villagers were great. Milly Johnson has so easily brought this place to life, and the map at the beginning of the book was one of the best ideas ever, it was so great to be able to really place the cottages and imagine the whole village. There was so much happening there, you can count on mystery, drama, scandal and tons of kindness and friendship. There are many subplots in this book but it doesn’t mean that I felt confused, oh no, it was perfectly planned and plotted. It touches upon many heavier issues, such as for example adoption or money fraud, but this all is almost always written with humour or at least in a lighter way.
Altogether, “The Perfectly Imperfect Woman” was a heart – warming, funny and poignant read. It is really easy to fell in love with this story immediately – the writing style is brilliant, easy to follow and chatty, and the plot brings some surprises that I would never expect. It’s just a book with a heart, you know, and you can feel it in every word, and it is great to read such a story. Highly recommended!