The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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September 5, 2012

Artistic License

I'm fond of  Katie Fforde's books -- I know a lot of my reading friends are, too -- although I do think her earlier books were better than her more recent ones (there's some agreement there, too).  I had read Artistic License before, as it turns out, but it's a good one, and I think it was especially enjoyable as an audiobook (very well-narrated by Julia Franklin).

By now, I would find it hard to get along without audiobooks. I rely on them for long drives in the car, as a way to read when I'm doing something else {like ironing, or needlepoint{ instead of turning on the TV for background  noise, and -- mostly -- as a way to unwind before I fall asleep. That last one sometimes means that it can take me weeks to 'read' an audiobook, so  that's best if it's a rollicking story that holds my interest but that I don't have to pay close attention to.  Does that make any sense? Probably not, but it works. :)

This book was perfect for that.  The heroine, Thea, is in her thirties, a divorced former photographer who earns her living running a boardinghouse for students.  When she reluctantly goes on a packaged tour of Provence with her high-maintenance friend Molly, she meets Rory, a younger, incredibly handsome Irish painter who is there to give a lecture on Cezanne.  Rory is sexy and shallow, and Thea doesn't really fall for him, but when the students trash her house during a party and she needs to escape, she accepts his invitation to visit him (if not to sleep with him) in his Irish cottage.  There, she discovers his extraordinary paintings, and hatches a plan to open an art gallery to show his work.

Meanwhile, she has met Ben, a relative of Molly's, a more serious, prickly, but undeniably attractive man who lets her know very directly that he finds her attractive but won't start a relationship with her, there's the classic chicklit setup of one woman and two men, one who seems like the right one, and one who turns out to be, and you know all along how it's going to end up.  But the chemistry between Thea and Ben is fun to follow, even if it's also predictable.  It's horrible of me to say that this was a great book to fall asleep to, but it was. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved the early books - and there was nothing else quite like them around at the time - but I've drifted away from them. I can see a certain pattern repeated in this one, but you're positive enough that I might give it the benefit of the doubt if I spot a copy in the library.

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