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June 18, 2006

SRP Book 4: A Country Affair

Summer Reading Program - My Books

A Country Affair by Rebecca Shaw (280 pages)
Genre: Contemporary village fiction
Rating: 4.3

A Country Affair is the first of Shaw's Barleybridge trilogy. It centers on a country vet practice in the British village of Barleybridge. The main character, Kate, is a young woman who wants to be a vet, but didn't get into vet school because of a poor exam grade. She takes a receptionist job at the vet practice instead, and has to decide whether to try the exam again while getting used to her new job and coworkers, dealing with her icky boyfriend, and finding out secrets about her own family. There are also a few good subplots dealing with other staff and patients at the clinic.

This book was cosy and atmospheric, reminiscent of Miss Read or the Mitford books. But it had a reality to it I didn't quite expect: animals die, babies are miscarried, relationships are complex and uncomfortable. Once I got used to this, though, I think it really added to the book's quality. It's a cute British village novel, but it's not just a cute little village story. The next volume should be published in the States in the fall, and I can't wait.

Posted by Kat at June 18, 2006 04:48 PM

The realism helps ground the book so that it's not any kind of a twee story? It sounds interesting, Kat.

Posted by: Carrie K at June 18, 2006 06:59 PM
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