The Great Village Show – Alexandra Brown

I picked this up from my local library sale a couple of weeks ago as they were taking it out of rotation, and I can now see why. I chose this one because it was different to books I had been reading previously and I wanted this hobby to broaden my horizons when it came to the style and type of books I was reading. To be honest this is not my preferred genre and I only picked this book up because it had a map printed in the front pages and I’m a sucker for a map, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, you name it, I’ll study those maps within an inch of their life and flip back every time there is a location reference so I know where I am. Whoever thought of adding maps into fictional books, I salute you.

The Great Village Show is the second book in a series (which I didn’t know until the end) revolving around a town called Tindledale and it’s inhabitants. We mainly focus on Meg, the ‘acting’ headteacher – which the whole ‘acting’ thing seemed a little unrelated and the story would have progressed just fine without that unnecessary extra fact. I only point this out because this is one of the main problems with the story, too many facts about everyone and everything in the story that you are lead to believe are relevant, but never come back into it.

As usual this romance story follows the basic story-line, we meet a nice person in a struggling situation and a potential romantic encounter that is seemingly lost until the last few pages where everything pulls together for a happy ending. As you will have guessed the ending was predictable so it was difficult getting through the book since I knew what would be happening, even in the end I was disappointed by the five or so pages of closure on the story lines that felt rushed and forced so that the ending had some kind of meaning.

I have found (as many others likely have) that internal dialogue is something that always moves a book forward, it’s a necessary influence in the story either from the narrator or main character. However, the constant stream of consciousness in this book made me really dislike reading it, there was too much information relating to the tiniest of insignificant details, it was a true chore getting through Meg’s narration, it really ruined the book for me and if the author had just relaxed it a little it would have been a much easier read. I did not need to know every detail about the pin board in her office as it had no relevance to the story, at points the author even felt it necessary to reinforce information we had already been given by just repeating the information in a new way.

Considering this book is sold as a romantic comedy the ‘romance’ was lacking significantly unless you count three or four brief encounters as significant in a 400 page novel. I struggled to connect Meg and Dan together due to the lack of scenes with them making a genuine connection, along with the fact her internal dialogue never seemed to settle on how she felt about him, one minute she hated him, then thought he was okay and before I knew it he was the worst person in the world again, I can’t say I remember her ever settling on liking him romantically and if she did it was not clear at all. It was exhausting keeping up with the changing mindset.

Overall I did not enjoy this book, there wasn’t any actual excitement that wasn’t squashed within a page. If you’re looking for the typical romance story where everything is picture perfect then I would go ahead and recommend you read this, if you’re looking for some actual stimulating literature maybe give t

his one a miss.

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