Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Staying at Daisy's by Jill Mansell tackles an issue I'd like to share with the world...

Staying at Daisy's
~Jill Mansell

Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Reprint
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1402243847
ISBN-13: 978-1402243844

From Goodreads:
If you're looking for a hotel where anything can happen, try staying at Daisy's...

Daisy MacLean runs the country house hotel owned by her flamboyant father, Hector. When she hears who's about to get married there, she isn't worried at all - her friend Tara absolutely promises there won't be any trouble between her and ex-boyfriend Dominic, whom she hasn't seen for years. But Daisy should be worried. Dominic has other ideas. And seeing Tara again sets in motion a chaotic train of events with far-reaching consequences for all concerned.

While Daisy spends the ensuing months doing battle with Dev Tyzack (Dominic's so-called best man), Tara battles with her conscience. Meanwhile, Hector's getting up to all sorts with...well, that's the village's best kept secret. And then Barney turns up, with a little something belonging to the husband Daisy's been doing her best to forget. That's the thing about hotels, you never know who you're going to meet. Or whether they're going to stay.
Daisy MacLean has just learned that her husband has been in a car accident...and his girlfriend was in the car with him. She also learns that he doesn't have cancer like he told her he did, and agrees to donate his organs for transplant.

A year later, Daisy's still managing her father's hotel, working a wedding. A guest catches the groom in a compromising position with Daisy's friend and employee, Tara. Tara says she didn't do anything, the groom came on to her. The best main blames Tara, but Daisy defends her.

Now Daisy's gotten a letter from the recipient of her ex husband's kidney, a young man named Barney, and he's come for a visit. While he's at the hotel, he sees an ad for a porter position and applies for the job.

Daisy keeps running into the best man, who also happens to be a famous former football star. Tara gets a call from the groom, miserable in his marriage and wanting to see her. Barney gets settled in, meets a nice girl, and they start dating. Tara's sister, Maggie, is secretly seeing someone in the village, and he's paying her for sex!

My thoughts: This book was fantastic. Staying at Daisy's is the second book I've read by Ms. Mansell, and I plan to glom her backlist soon, I really enjoy her writing.From my brief summary, it sounds like there's a lot going on - there is - but Ms. Mansell is a master at working the storylines until she neatly ties them together in a nice big bow. I really liked Daisy, she was a sympathetic character who'd had her heart trampled by her ex-husband and was reluctant to open herself to love again. Her father was a great character, absolutely adorable. Her friend Tara was a bit abrasive and I didn't like her very much; I had a hard time believing that after what she'd seen Daisy go through with a cheating husband that she would head down that path herself. Tara's sister Maggie turned out to be quite a surprising character :)

Dev is the hero of the story, and I didn't feel like we saw very much of him, but I liked him nevertheless. He was a bit of a playboy, which is why Daisy couldn't or wouldn't allow herself to fall for him. Lucky for her, Dev is persistent and patient.

I enjoyed the entire book, but here's what really struck me about this story - the organ donation storyline. Full disclosure: I worked for about 12 years as a secretary in a pediatric kidney transplant department, so I have some intense feelings on the subject of organ donation. I loved, loved, loved that Staying at Daisy's does a marvelous job of highlighting it in a positive way. I am a firm believer in organ donation, and Ms. Mansell wove the subject into a wonderful storyline. I'm not going to give out any spoilers, so to see why it was especially significant you'll have to read the book, lol.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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