cover image Country Plot

Country Plot

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Severn House, $28.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8146-5

Harrod-Eagles’s love of the English countryside shines through in this light contemporary’s details of rural life, but the story doesn’t hang together. Jenna Freemont survives “Lousy Monday” when she loses her job at a London magazine and returns home to find her lover with another woman. She regroups and winds up as assistant to Kitty, a distant cousin in Holtby. A widow, Kitty can’t afford to keep her late husband’s family estate, so she and Jenna must catalogue and sell its contents. Kitty’s godson, Alexander, and his fiancée, Caroline, take an instant dislike to Jenna, believing she is there to take advantage of Kitty. When Jenna plots a way for Kitty to afford to keep the house, she meets resistance on several fronts and even suffers an attempt on her life. Incorporating pop culture references and a clutter of irrelevant details, Harrod-Eagles (Game Over) also stretches the reader’s sense of a believable budding romance between Jenna and Alexander. (July)