Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell

Paperback432 pages
Published February 16th 2012 by Headline Review (first published January 1st 2012)

From the publisher:
It's been a while, but Lara Carson's back in Bath and lives are set to change as a result. Because Lara left her family and boyfriend Flynn eighteen years ago without a word to anyone. Why has no one heard from her since? Her childhood best friend Evie is thrilled Lara's back and able to share her happiness. Evie's about to walk down the aisle with her dream man, Joel. Or so she thinks... Then there's Flynn Erskine, even more attractive now and stunned to see Lara again. The spark between them is as strong as ever, but how's Flynn going to react when he discovers the secret she's been keeping from him? Oh yes, there's a lot of catching up to be done...

My Thoughts:  In A Walk in the Park,  Mansell explores themes of friendship, love, family relationships, fidelity, romance and finding the perfect place for oneself in the world. Sounds like a lot going on? There is, but Mansell handles it all with a  deft hand, weaving a myriad of subplots into a cohesive whole. Of course, there are characters that you like and some you don't but that balance lends itself to a realistic read. 

One of the wonderful quality of Jill's writing is the strength of her women characters. Evie, the cheated upon fiancée of Joel, captured my heart. I cheered her on when she finally got some backbone and shed her low self-esteem in search of what was right for her. I really liked the main characters, Lara and Flynn and was happy to see how they resolved their feelings. The spark between them just shimmered on the page.

  Another thing I do like about Jill's books is the humor. She can take everyday people coping with life and make some hilarious situations. A Walk in the Park had me chuckling out loud in more than one place. Even though some parts of her books are predictable, it's the journey the characters take that is the fun part. Underneath the humor Mansell manages to delve into everyday issues that would be ideal for book club discussions. Although there was one thread I felt could have been downplayed a little more or eliminated altogether, the book was very enjoyable.  4****

Disclosure: A digital copy of the book was provided by Sourcebooks/Netgalley  in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. Mansell's books are always a treat!

  2. This sounds really good, Kaye. I'll put it on my list. Loved your review!

  3. I have read some of Mansell's work, and liked it, and it sounds like this one would be no exception. I like fluffy books that I can curl up with and be comfortable with, and it sounds like this one might fit that description. Fantastic review today!

  4. Hi Kaye, and many thanks for the fabulous review - I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book!

  5. She is a fun author and I always love her covers.

  6. I enjoy Jill's books and have this one on my stacks.

  7. I've wanted to read this and am glad to see you liked it. I will be sure to get it now! Great review! :)

  8. Humor will take me a long way with a book!

  9. Sounds like another winner from Mansell. Can't wait to read this one.


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