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A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell

A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell is another engaging story about love and coming together as a family.  Lara Carson is forced to leave home at the age of 16 and returns to Bath 18 years later for her father’s funeral.  Things have changed drastically, but Evie is still the warm friend she remembers.  Lara believes she’s prepared to deal with the past, but when Flynn Erskine arrives unexpectedly her feelings nearly overcome her.  Not only does she owe the two most important people from her past an explanation, but she also has secrets she has to reveal — secrets that Flynn and Evie may not be ready for.

Mansell’s characters are always quirky, and there is no absence of that here, from Lara’s strong Aunt Nettie in Keswick to Don the jewelry shop owner in Bath.  While many of these characters are looking for love, denying that they are looking for love, or hoping to fall out of love with a cad, Mansell quietly addresses the fear that still haunts gays who have not come out of the closet, single-parenting obstacles, and how secrets can topple families.

Meanwhile, Lara is blindly making decisions that are best for her daughter, Gigi, but she refuses to look around her to see how her decisions affect herself and others.  She’s also busy trying to make love matches for her aunt and friends, at the same time she’s struggling to ignore her own passionate feelings for Flynn — her former teenage boyfriend.  Life and love is anything but a walk in the park for Lara and her friends, especially when the death of Lara’s mother raises questions about her mother’s faithfulness and about where she got the money to buy the family home.

Readers will note there are a variety of subplots, and while they are successfully concluded, there are some that felt a little rushed, which may be partially due to the multitude of characters Mansell creates.  Mansell novels are full of romance and flirty fun, but this one has some serious notes and a more mature set of story lines.  With a mother-in-law from hell and the outrageous behavior of rap star EnjaySeven, A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell is a literary soap opera that leaps off the pages and makes readers thank their lucky stars their lives are less complicated.

About the Author:

Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write.

  • I love Mansell and always enjoy her books. I can’t wait to get to this one!

    • Her books just make you feel good.

  • I enjoyed this one of hers too. I do think there was maybe a bit much going on but I still got sucked into it all. I always find her stories pick me up and take me away for a while and for that I love them!

    • I enjoyed this in spite of all the stuff in it. I cannot say that too much was bad…it was good and kept me in a happy place for a while.

  • I can’t wait to see how a rap star plays into this book, lol. I love Mansell’s characters, so even if parts of it seem rushed, I’m sure I’ll still enjoy it overall.
    Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)´s last blog post ..Review: The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy

    • I had fun with Enjay!

  • I’ll agree with the quirky characters but some of the characters in the book I just finished (Head over Heels) were too stereotyped. I also thought the too many coincides were forced. It was a light read though.
    Mystica´s last blog post ..HEAD OVER HEELS by JILL MANSELL

    • This one is heavy on coincidence, but I still enjoyed it.