Kelly Park (by Jean Stubbs)

I know very little about Jean Stubbs, and can find almost nothing about her online. I've begun buying a few of her books at second-hand shops as they always seem interesting - and are mostly out of print.

'Kelly Park' opens with Flavia's last evening in Bon Appetit, a restaurant which she has built up from scratch with the unfaithful Jack. She goes to recuperate at Kelly Park, the run-down country home in Cornwall, belonging to her good friend Humphrey.

At Kelly Park, Flavia slowly develops some plans for her future, eventually persuading Humphrey to let her renovate it, and open it as a hotel. As she struggles to achieve her dreams, she becomes gradually accepted by the local Cornish people. At the same time, she has to fight unexpected setbacks, and also discovers that she is falling in love.

The characters were very well-drawn, and I enjoyed the romantic tension that permeates the book, leading at the end to a very satisfactory (if rather over-dramatic) ending.

Definitely recommended.

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