There’s something oddly old-fashioned about this book, and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. It starts with a break-up, which establishes that our main character Dr Maddie has been burnt, and burnt badly. In the realm of love, our Maddie has been cast asunder. Luckily the book doesn’t dwell on that too much, as frankly that would be sad and self-indulgent and us readers don’t often like that, do we kids? All that angst and snot. Well not to worry as the good doctor is soon driving her kick-arse car towards sunny San Francisco and a new life with her old college mate Zoe.
It all gets a bit Doc Hollywood now, which is actually referenced in the book, when Maddie’s car blows a gasket and she finds herself in a small town called Grace Falls. A plan is hatched by the mechanics to keep the doc in town until the garage owner’s wife gives birth to their first baby.
We learn that the town’s doctor has retired to look after his sick wife, and without a practising physician there isn’t anyone to run the medical centre. He approaches Maddie and explains the situation, telling her that patients now need to travel many miles to the nearest hospital for help. However, as our doctor isn’t going to be around for long she declines the offer.
Here’s where it starts to feel old-fashioned for me, as it turns into a lovely feel-good story. The people in the town are funny, loveable and eccentric. Maddie starts to have feelings for her neighbour Alex, and is enchanted by Alex’s little daughter, Jess. Then following a traumatic health scare Maddie decides to fill in as the town quack for a couple of weeks while her car is being fixed.
The relationship between the women blossoms, and Maddie starts to question whether she can give it up and head off to California. Without spoiling the best bits of the book I’ll just say the relationship hits the rockiest of rocky patches. Still, you never stop believing that they will sort out the problems and see sense…..eventually.
This book was a nice read, it bounced along at a decent pace and the characters were, in the most part, ‘real’. (I especially liked Aunt Teddy and the curmudgeonly nurse). I will certainly read this again and recommend it to my friends for a nice, feel-good, – the world’s a better place when you’re in love – type story.
SCORES ON THE DOORS
STORY 3.5 STARS (yes it’s kind of been done before, but this was well written and funny)
CHARACTERS 4.5 STARS
SEX 3 STARS (there isn’t a great deal, but there’s a whole lot of tension)