I’d like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations for Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell. There’s a bit of an irony to this blog post today as I’ve always loved Jill Mansell’s writing but she hasn’t appeared on the blog since 2016 when I hosted an extract from You and Me, Always that you can read here. Just at the point I had decided not to take on any blog tours for 2019, along came Maybe This Time and I simply couldn’t resist. It’s been far too long since I read one of Jill’s books.
Maybe This Time is published today, 24th January 2019, by Headline Review and is available for purchase through the links here.
Maybe This Time
Mimi isn’t looking for love when she spends a weekend in Goosebrook, the Cotswolds village her dad has moved to. And her first encounter with Cal, who lives there too, is nothing like a scene in a romantic movie – although she can’t help noticing how charismatic he is. But Cal’s in no position to be any more than a friend, and Mimi heads back to her busy London life.
When they meet again four years later, it’s still not to be. Cal is focusing on his family, and Mimi on her career. Then Cal dives into a potentially perfect new romance whilst Mimi’s busy fixing other people’s relationships.
It seems as if something, or someone else, always gets in their way. Will it ever be the right time for both of them?
My Review of Maybe This Time
Mimi’s adventures in the Cotswolds won’t all be plain sailing!
Maybe This Time is wonderful. It can be tricky reading a book from a favourite author in case they disappoint, but I just loved Maybe This Time. It had everything I expect from Jill Mansell and so much more besides.
I found it impossible to drag myself away and when I wasn’t reading the story I was thinking about the characters. I often find children and animals in fiction quite stilted and unrealistic, but both Otto and Cora felt as vivid to me as any of the adults. I think it is the superb quality of the direct speech that creates this effect. Jill Mansell has the ability to make it sound so natural that it’s more like eavesdropping a conversation than reading it on the page.
I also really appreciated the balance of characters. Sometimes in women’s fiction it seems to me as if the writer is a misandrist, but in Maybe This Time, men were as equally well presented as women which I found hugely satisfying. Characters like Kendra and Rob gave a balance to Mimi and Cal. I thought Lois was inspired too because her vulnerability illustrates the warm humanity I expect from this author.
I loved the plot. I was desperate for Mimi to have a happy ending but I had no real idea how, or even if, it would manifest itself, so that each event almost felt as if it were happening to me, never mind a character in a book, because I was so invested in the narrative. The small incidents that run alongside the main story add such a warmth and depth to the read that Maybe This Time has something to attract every reader. The themes of love and relationships, family and friendship, grief and joy all combine into a perfect blend of gorgeous storytelling. Jill Mansell’s style is so effortless to read so that I truly felt as if I were coming home to an old friend in reading this narrative. The descriptions too made Maybe This Time so lovely to read. I was able to place myself in Goosebrook particularly easily.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Anyone who loves Jill Mansell’s writing needs to know that Maybe This Time is her writing at her most glorious, and entertaining best and is an absolute joy to read.
About Jill Mansell
Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want and Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay. Take a Chance on Me won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.
Jill’s personal favourite amongst her novels is Three Amazing Things About You, which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading this novel.
Jill started writing fiction while working in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology in the NHS, but now writes full time. She lives in Bristol with her family.