The windows rattle. The roof leaks. Every surface cries out to be stripped, painted, or polished. But for writer Lisa Trumperton, the dilapidated manor house that once belonged to her great-grandfather is far more than the sum of its battered parts. It's the chance for a new start on her own terms. The fact that it's in the Melbourne countryside of her Australian homeland, far from the deceitful ex-husband she just left behind in New York…well, that's a bonus.
Lisa sets to work refurbishing Trumperton Manor, assisted by her son, his friends, and a "Gray Army" of retired handymen. But it's not just her ancestral home that's being transformed. As she trades her chic Manhattan clothes for jeans and work boots, Lisa is changing and fortifying her relationships with her family and her sense of self. There are floods, fires, and catastrophes, but there are new allies too, including a one-eyed cat, a stubborn cockatoo, and a rugged landscaper with an irresistible grin. Piece by piece, the house is pushing Lisa beyond her old limits, daring her to embrace something bigger, braver, and more rewarding than she ever dreamed.@goodreads
I love the cover of this book, it just looks like a magical place to be. *some mild spoilers ahead*
When I first started reading the book I wasn't sure I was going to like it. It starts out with Lisa and her husband Jake celebrating Lisa's bday in their home with their grown kids, Ted and Portia. When a simple bouquet of flowers arrive with a not so sweet card attached, all hell breaks loose!
Lisa survived a mastectomy, a cheating husband and she is a wonderful writer. She decides to go back to Australia where she was born and try to find a quiet place for herself and her writing. Lisa's sister and other family live there. They all think she is crazy for buying Trumperton Manor, it has bad vibes that go with it and it's falling down. But Lisa wants to redo the manor and live there, the home is part of her ancestry and she wants to keep it in the family. She even changed her name back to Trumperton, it is her family name.
One thing was certain. The only thing worse than annihilation would be to continue living like this. Either she jumped or...Lisa tossed the ring in the air. It hovered over the city and winked in a shaft of light.
As gravity took hold and sucked the gold circle down to the street, she suddenly knew what she had to do. Lisa Katz was dead and gone. She was changing her name back to Lisa Trumperton. And she was moving home to Australia.
Once she got to the manor it got really interesting. We get to meet a wonderful cast of characters, one being Scott, he's a sweetheart and a heartthrob. There is a feral cat and a cockatoo that lives in the yard. Eventually they become pets and live in the house. There are other great characters and they all had me in stitches. I never thought I was going to be laughing so hard at this book and it was great to laugh again :-)
Lisa decided to called the one-eyed kitty, Mojo. Well, he picked out the name himself. He was in a bad way until Lisa corralled him and got him to the vet.
She peered through the holes and perceived a cattish silhouette. A sleepy eye winked back. "You mean he's bald?"
"No, not at all," the vet said with a little laugh that could've been a cough. He went on to explain it was the best that could be done for a cat in Mojo's condition. Besides, his fur will grow out in a month or two.
The carry case went silent.
A hairdresser had told Lisa the same thing after he'd given her a mullet. But Lisa didn't have time to interrogate further. After handing over half the deposit for the vet's next holiday in Thailand, she slid Mojo's case into the back of the car. Then, on the drive home, she tried to avoid bumps in the road, remembering how much her stitches had hurt when Jake had driven her home from the hospital.
Lisa's manor had a lot of kangaroos and various animals come to visit. I think that's so cool.
She had a lot of work to do to get the home back to normal. She had a plethora of people working on the home and a lot of twists and turns along the way. She was slowly finding a love interest in Scott, but it was slow going and funny for many different reasons.
"Did he put his arm around your waist and try to work it up to your boobs?" Portia was warming to her subject.
"So what did he do?"
"He...breathed on me."
Portia was deflated. "Some old dude in a ute breathed on you?"
Lisa couldn't take the humiliation any longer.
"Are you coming to Australia for Christmas?"
Portia eventually moves to Australia, she finds someone she fits with when she comes to visit and she has some medical issues she has to deal with. Lisa's son Ted lives in Australia already and he gets married at the manor. It's all so sweet.
The book has it's ups and downs and there are many laughing parts and some parts I wanted to smack some people but I loved the book. It was a pleasant surprise as I may have already mentioned.
*I would like to thank Netgalley and Kensington books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.*
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