I really enjoyed reading The Reading Group: December by Della Parker so I was delighted to be offered the chance to read The Reading Group: January via Netgalley. You can read my review of The Reading Group: December here and the e-book is currently free here.
The Reading Group: January, part two in the Reading Group Series, was published by Quercus on 1st December 2016 and is available for purchase in e-book here.
The Reading Group: January
Anne-Marie has always considered herself a bit of a matchmaker – never mind that she’s only got one real success under her belt. And this year she’s determined to up her game: Little Sanderton’s singles could certainly benefit from her expertise!
But while Anne Marie thinks she knows what’s best for everyone else, her own life couldn’t be less of a fairytale romance. Between looking after her cranky father and running her own business, she doesn’t have time for a relationship. Her friends in the Reading Group know better though: after all, love can be found in the most unexpected of places . . .
This January the Reading Group is tackling Jane Austen’s Emma . . . but who’s got time for fiction when romance is in the air?
My Review of The Reading Group: January
This month the reading group are tackling Emma by Jane Austen, but Anne-Marie is so busy interfering in other people’s love lives she hasn’t got time to read the book and maybe she should.
Initially this story didn’t appeal as much as the December one and it took me a while to get into the rhythm of it. However, on reflection, I think that is a strength of the story because Emma is my least favourite of Austen’s works and I think I may have found the resonances too strong, reminding me of my own prejudices. It didn’t have the emotional pull of Grace’s December story for me as it is more light hearted.
That said, the more I read the more I enjoyed it and January is a highly entertaining read, feeling more like chick-lit than December. Anne-Marie is so well defined as a character, busybodying in other people’s relationships so that she hasn’t actually got a love of her own. As the story went along I really warmed to her and wanted her to be lucky in love too. This may only be a novella of just over 90 pages, but the characters are never two dimensional, but rather they feel real and human.
I liked the humour presented, mostly through Anne-Marie’s matchmaking efforts, that made The Reading Group: January the kind of read just right for a commute or cold winter’s afternoon. It doesn’t matter if the reader hasn’t encountered the first story in this series as January stands alone perfectly and you certainly don’t need to have read Emma. I’m looking forward to encountering The Reading Group: February as the reading group are embarking on Lady Chatterley’s Lover and I’m dying to know what Della Parker makes of that! It’s sure to be entertaining.
About Della Parker
Della Parker lives in a Dorset village with her two large hounds.
Before becoming a writer she worked as a Customer Services Manager for a water company. Solving customer complaints is not a million miles away from solving plot problems, so Della thinks her former life was quite a good background for a writer. And of course there were the wonderful characters she met.
When Della is not writing she enjoys running marathons and going to the gym for long workouts. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the time to pursue these worthwhile hobbies as often as she’d like to – as she much prefers writing!
All the books in Della’s Reading Group Series are available here.