04/01/2002

Belonging (by Alexandra Raife)

I only discovered Alexandra Raife's novels last year, on the recommendation of a relative. Once I start enjoying a writer's work, I like to collect everything they have written, so I put some of her books on my wish list, and received one for Christmas.

'Belonging' features Rebecca, who leaves her high-powered job in Edinburgh after a shock. She goes to stay at Ardlonach, the family ancestral home, which has been converted to a hotel.

When she arrives, Rebecca finds that her cousin Tony has walked out on his wife Una. Rebecca agrees to take on the management of the hotel temporarily. Despite discovering some dubious practices, and clashing with some of the staff, she and Una between them begin to make a success of it.

Meanwhile, Rebecca gets to know the neighbours (some of whom appeared in one of the earlier books by the same author) and finds herself falling in love.

Towards the end of the book, Rebecca manages to resolve a problem which has been worrying her for a while, and her future starts to look hopeful.

All in all, a very pleasant book. Lovely people and places, a gentle and relaxing read.

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