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And Now You're Back Paperback – June 8, 2021
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"A frothy, cozy work of women's fiction set in a small Cotswolds village where everyone knows everyone else's business." - Booklist
About the Author
- Publisher : Sourcebooks Landmark (June 8, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1728234573
- ISBN-13 : 978-1728234571
- Item Weight : 11.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.84 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #36,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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With "And now you're back", I'm starting to feel that Jill Mansell is getting bored of her own work.
Don't get me wrong, it's not the first work she's pumped out that felt that way, but this had to be the most recycled piece she's done. It read like a book generated from an auto-generator that had previous works of hers input. Or like a ghostwriter taking her bits and bobs and putting it together to recreate a work of Jill Mansell's.
High school sweethearts that met an unfortunate and early end to their relationship, meeting up again? I read that with Lola and Doug, and Lara and Flynn. Hotel management and finicky guests with weddings? Working in a hotel in Staying with Daisy's was far more engaging to read about. A sudden appearance of a celebrity who's beautiful, quirky and seductive? I remember Guy meeting Valentine. Pretending to be in a relationship still when you're not? Ellie did it twice with Joe and Todd, and Daisy did it with Josh. Falling in love with your unlikely driving instructor? Speaking of Josh, he did that for Tara.
Even if you're recycling a tried and true set of tropes, there is a need to payoff what's set up appropriately, and yet this book had no soul in that. Every setup, such as Rosa and Benny, Benny and Ingrid, the incident with the burglary, Maury and the necklace, Aaron and Didi... Everything was resolved in the most tepid and mellow way possible. Possibly the only sparky, fun payoff was with Red, the security box and the secret book of Harry, but even that lasted only a few scenes that weren't quite enough to offset the ongoing sense that not much was at stake. Indeed, nothing ever got very dramatic or far enough. Red dying was sad but his death scene was skipped over, obviously seen to be unnecessary to depict, but I remember how strong Stella's death scene was and I know the author is capable of writing powerfully intense scenes like that and feel a bit like we missed something. Aaron took the breakup so unbelievably well it's hard to believe it was an issue at all. What we get is a general feeling of a wet fuse the whole way through because honestly, what was stopping Shay and Didi besides some bad timing? There needed to be more at stake than pride but as there wasn't, we got manufactured drama in the form of Caz who also fizzled out of the scene like a convenient dud of a firework. I didn't buy at all that she'd warm up to Didi that much that fast, so it felt like incredibly rushed writing. I'm familiar enough with this author's work to know she's rushed bits before, tying up loose ends in ridiculously swift and convenient ways, but this book felt worse off for it due to all its other shortcomings in tandem.
I wasn't even very disappointed with this book, as I went into it with low expectations. After all, this author has written SO MUCH; we have to cut her some slack. But even then, I came away with a lukewarm, meh feeling. The feel-good factor just didn't register as strongly because I could just feel how tired Jill Mansell must be of writing this genre of fluff, so tired she can't even be bothered to come up with new material.
Knowing what she's capable of, it is my sincere hope that Jill Mansell makes her next book something she feels excited to write about.
The interconnections between the various plot lines, the incredible sweetness she manages to capture in the different relationships.
This is another feel-good, witty and wonderful novel to make your day (week? month? year?)
Now to wait for the next release... Bum. Should've taken longer to read this one!
Top reviews from other countries
One thing that I look forward to every January is a new, cosy, heart-warming read from Mansell and I was eager to get stuck into this latest offering and be swept away into a world of romance. This starts on a snowy, winter night in Venice, a completely magical night and a start that ensured I was instantly hooked. Fast forward thirteen years and we follow Didi and Shay as they navigate their lives, we learn what really happened thirteen years ago and discover whether they can overcome their obstacles.
The plot is thoroughly enjoyable and makes for the perfect romantic read. The book is set in the Cotswolds and I adored Mansell's descriptions of well known villages and found myself transported to the beauty of the Cotswolds. This is pure escapism.
So the plot is everything but a read like this needs characters to match and of course Mansell delivers. All of the characters have a role to play and all of them have a plot thread and their chance to shine. I always love Mansell's characters and this was no different, they are incredibly realistic and it takes no time at all for them to feel like old friends. They laugh, cry and fall in love and the reader gets to experience all of this alongside them.
'And Now You're Back' is another cosy, romantic read from Mansell and has laughter and love aplenty. I adored this exquisite read.
This, like her other books, is the perfect antidote to a cold, lockdown, January weekend day!
I loved this story...I always love how quickly I’m invested in her characters and how easily she weaves several stories together...building anticipation with each one. Shay and Didi may be two of my favourites! Dreamy.
Thank you for another great read! Highly recommend this and the whole Mansell library!! I posted this review at 1.30 am! That’s how much I loved it!
And Now You’re Back is another wonderful story that not only beat the post-Christmas blues, it brightened up this third lockdown.
As the synopsis explains, Didi and Mason were an item, but that was thirteen years ago and now Didi is engaged and not looking to rekindle any old flames.
Like so many of Jill’s books, this story is character driven and there is a whole host of wonderful people who help create a totally engaging tale. In particular, I loved Rosa and Red. Rosa is a widow who discovered, on her husband’s death, that all of their wealth had been gambled away including their beautiful family home. Red is Shay’s father who has spent most of his life in and out of prison. That said, he’s an honourable thief who is now going straight as he succumbs to a cancer diagnosis. I don’t believe that these snippets will act as spoilers as they offer nothing to compromise the overall story.
Having read each of Jill’s books, I can honestly say that this is one of my favourites. The balance of the individual stories helped to shape this wonderful tale that is a beautiful love story. The chemistry between Didi and Shay is difficult to ignore, but they are both determined to remain respectful to each other’s circumstances.
There’s a lot going on in the village of Elliscombe and I would be thrilled to read more stories which revolve around some of the characters that I was introduced to. Now, I must start the eleven-month challenge of waiting for Jill’s next book.
The focus is not solely on the relationship between Didi and Shay. And Now You’re Back features a cast of colourful, well-rounded characters with believable backstories that add depth to the narrative. We can guess the outcome, but it’s fun reading how it comes about.
Every year, in January, a new Jill Mansell novel arrives, and we readers can look forward to spending many enjoyable hours losing ourselves in the world she has created. I have read all of her books and they rarely disappoint. In And Now You’re Back there are secrets to uncover and misunderstandings to sort out, but it is at heart about the possibility of second chances.
Thanks to Headline Review and NetGalley for a digital copy to review #AndNowYoureBack #JillMansell