‘Hidden Treasures’ is a second novel by Fern Britton (TV presenter, turned novelist) and tells the story of Helen Merrifield, a forty-something, well-preserved wife and mother who decides to turn her life around when she, inadvertently, discovers another of her husband’s infidelities.
Her intention to leave her disastrous marriage in the new year is superseded when, as a Christmas present, she receives a pair of lacy knickers and a sewing machine from her errant husband instead of the Tiffany bauble she spotted some weeks earlier.
By Boxing Day, her decision has been made public and she has set the ball rolling to start a new life in an area a far cry from her native London roots.
Enter: a quaint cottage in a pretty, little hamlet…(the last two books I have read are both situated in hamlets and focused around a church, but I thought the definition of a hamlet was a smaller village without a church – but what do I know? Anyway, I digress!)…near the Cornish coast. This ‘hamlet’ is packed to the rafters full of friendly villagers who engineer a social life for our heroine that even Kate Moss would struggle to keep up with.
Add to the mix a love-sick vicar and a local historian, who makes Razor Ruddock seem like John Inman, and along with the added complications of an ex-husband, two adult children and TV executive best friend (along with production crew), you are presented with all the ingredients for chick lit at its best.
My only small whinge is that I found the description of ‘chocolate-drop eyes’ alongside almost every introduction to the vicar a little nauseating, and the ending is suitably predictable and crass, yet wonderful.
If you are entertained by this particular genre I guarantee that you will not want to put this book down until you have read it in its entirety. It is the perfect read to snuggle down with before the fire on a winter’s day, or relax into by the pool on your hols. Don’t miss it and enjoy!