Wish You Were Here is Catherine Alliott’s newest book, which follows her many previously-released and well-loved novels. Having never read any of her previous work, I wasn’t sure what to expect- but I’m certainly converted now!
When Flora, James and their two teenage daughters are offered the holiday of a lifetime in a chateau in the south of France in return for one simple good deed, they jump at the chance. They exchange the confines of Clapham, the weight of the mortgage and anxieties over their future for a blissful break.
But Flora didn’t anticipate a mysterious guest and a whole heap of family baggage coming too.
With James developing a schoolboy crush on a famous singer and Flora distracted by ghosts from her past, their dream holiday suddenly takes some very unexpected turns.
Firstly, the characters in this novel were just great! Flora in particular was so likeable and funny. Though she had her dubious moments where she could have thought things through a little better, I never felt like I wanted to give her a proper shake as much as I did with certain other characters (husband James and sister-in-law Sally in particular)! I found her very entertaining and at various points throughout the story I laughed out loud at what she had said or thought to herself. Her self-deprecating personality, with its at-times fiery edge, made her good fun and who, along with the other great characters, I really enjoyed reading about. Pretty much everyone in this story were convincing and well-developed, and this means you actually care about what’s happening to them- or I did, anyway!
The setting of Wish You Were Here made me want to just run away on holiday. Now. Not just because things get stressful here at home, but because the descriptions of Provence were so inviting! If you were on holiday somewhere sunny (or even if you’re not!) then it makes the perfect book for summer. Though it’s got some quite intense moments and lots of ups and downs, the vein of humour that runs through the story as well as the brilliant characters ensures that it remains a fairly light, witty read that is bound to leave you smiling at the end.
I certainly want to read more of Catherine Alliott’s work after reading Wish You Were Here, and would definitely recommend this novel to anyone wanting a great summer read.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.
What kind of novels do you like reading on holiday?