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Night Music

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The Spanish House is known to locals as an architectural folly, and it is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For the recently-widowed Isabel, the house is a potential lifeline. For her neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge.


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The Spanish House is known to locals as an architectural folly, and it is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For the recently-widowed Isabel, the house is a potential lifeline. For her neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge.

30 review for Night Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ferdy

    Spoilers This might have been enjoyable if the main characters hadn't been so thoroughly unlikeable, they were either thick-self-pitying-doormats or weird entitled maniacs. Thankfully the setting at The Spanish House and some of the secondary characters saved it from being a complete trainwreck. -Isabelle was an infuriating character, I couldn't root for her or feel sorry for her even though she was grieving for her dead husband and her life had turned upside down. She was completely useless, she Spoilers This might have been enjoyable if the main characters hadn't been so thoroughly unlikeable, they were either thick-self-pitying-doormats or weird entitled maniacs. Thankfully the setting at The Spanish House and some of the secondary characters saved it from being a complete trainwreck. -Isabelle was an infuriating character, I couldn't root for her or feel sorry for her even though she was grieving for her dead husband and her life had turned upside down. She was completely useless, she couldn't handle doing the most basic things without either screwing it up or whinging about it. She had zero common sense, it was remarkable how a woman of her age with two kids could willingly know so little about finances and parenting and the world in general. She was so lazy and stupid she didn't even get more than one quote for the work that needed doing on her house, she simply took dodgy Matt's word about prices and what needed doing, despite not knowing him or even finding out about his reputation as a builder before taking him on. What kind of idiot wouldn't at least call other builders for a quote? She said her husband sorted out things like that but that was still no excuse, any adult with a half a brain would know they needed to at least get a second opinion and quote before shelling out tens of thousands of pounds on important building work, even more so when the money being used was the only money the family had. There were so many more instances where Isabelle showed how lazy, dumb and useless she was. -The worst thing about Isabelle was the fact she chose to get married and have kids when she knew she couldn't ever love and support them how they needed. She was too in love with her violin and music to love anyone else, she knew that yet still decided to go ahead and be a wife and mother, it made her thoroughly unlikeable and selfish. -Matt was as irritating as Isabel, he was an entitled, deluded, self-obsessed, boring loser who never got any comeuppance for all the crap he pulled. The only satisfying ending would have been him suffering, which he didn't, instead he got a clean slate and his obedient wife at his beck and call. Laura was a complete twit staying with him when she knew he didn't love her or respect her, and was happily shagging half the village. She had a chance of a normal relationship and some happiness, but she threw it away so she could spend the rest of her life being Matt's doormat, it was such a depressing ending. -Hated how Asad and Henry were written, it was quite annoying how the author wrote them as gossips, physically weak, mother hens and so stereotypically gay. -I'm hoping the next Jojo Moyes book I pick up will be better than this one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Malia

    This was my first Jojo Moyes book, and I intentionally started with an older one, and not the much-lauded ME BEFORE YOU. I have often found books with a lot of hype surrounding them to be a bit disappointing when I get around to reading them, as was also the case with THE HUSBAND'S SECRET by Liane Moriarty. But when I went back to read her older books, I gobbled them up! So, that is the strategy I will employ here, too, I think. That said, I really did enjoy NIGHT MUSIC. I wasn't sure what to This was my first Jojo Moyes book, and I intentionally started with an older one, and not the much-lauded ME BEFORE YOU. I have often found books with a lot of hype surrounding them to be a bit disappointing when I get around to reading them, as was also the case with THE HUSBAND'S SECRET by Liane Moriarty. But when I went back to read her older books, I gobbled them up! So, that is the strategy I will employ here, too, I think. That said, I really did enjoy NIGHT MUSIC. I wasn't sure what to expect, typical, predictable chick-lit, or something with more depth, and I got the latter. The story revolves around the lives of a number of characters, which I always enjoy. I like there to be more than one POV, and feel it often helps to round out the story and flesh out the figures. The story in itself isn't radically new, a widow and her family move into a dilapidated house she inherited from a distant relation. What makes this book special is the thoughtful manner of Moyes' characterizations and the believability of the situation. There is romance, yes (nothing wrong with that), but nothing gratuitous or ridiculous. But what this story is really about is personal development and growth of the characters. I love it when the author shapes the story around characters, rather than making it seem as though the characters are merely bi-product of a plot outline, so this was perfect for me. I look forward to reading more from this author! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    I absolutely devoured this book from the outset. I just loved it, as I do with all Jo Jo Moyes's books. Initially, my heart totally broke for the delightful Isabel but watching her blossom and heal was just wonderful. I could visualise the ramshackle old house that she subsequently inherits at a totally desperate time of her life and, just when it seems nothing can possibly get worse, it does. Her neighbours, Laura and Matt, do nothing in the slightest to make her feel welcome to the village; on I absolutely devoured this book from the outset. I just loved it, as I do with all Jo Jo Moyes's books. Initially, my heart totally broke for the delightful Isabel but watching her blossom and heal was just wonderful. I could visualise the ramshackle old house that she subsequently inherits at a totally desperate time of her life and, just when it seems nothing can possibly get worse, it does. Her neighbours, Laura and Matt, do nothing in the slightest to make her feel welcome to the village; on the contrary Matt is out for revenge and Laura is lost in her ever crumbling world. Byron was a fantastic character and his vast knowledge of how to live off the land was crucial to Isabel initially. I also liked Nicholas Trent who was gradually putting his life back together and was a lovely,charming man. I didn't have any idea what the ending would be and was racing along to finish it so I could actually sleep tonight (being up until the wee small hours this morning and only putting my kindle down when I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer). The only negative I can say is that I now have to wait until Jo Jo's next book! Wonderful book, as always, and highly recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    I have read several of Jojo Moyes' novels and have enjoyed them - this one, though, just didnt do it for me. We have a widowed musician and her children. Two men who each like her - one is wealthy, sleeps around and doesnt care about his family, the other is the strong silent type who obviously has a past. His name is 'Byron Firth'!!!! No surprise as to who we are supposed to be going for. Moyes even creates a scene where our boy Firth emerges from swimming in a lake with his muscular torso I have read several of Jojo Moyes' novels and have enjoyed them - this one, though, just didnt do it for me. We have a widowed musician and her children. Two men who each like her - one is wealthy, sleeps around and doesnt care about his family, the other is the strong silent type who obviously has a past. His name is 'Byron Firth'!!!! No surprise as to who we are supposed to be going for. Moyes even creates a scene where our boy Firth emerges from swimming in a lake with his muscular torso gleaming and his hair slicked back - sending our widow's heart racing!! Oh puhlease!!! Yes we all loved Colin Firth doing his Darcy bit - but be original for goodness sake!! Moyes does a good job with the supporting cast as usual - and if you like your romance slushy and predictable then this is for you but not for me!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jess The Bookworm

    I don't think that I will ever come across a Jojo Moyes book that I don't enjoy. There is just something so great about her writing. This novel follows the lives of the people in the little village where 'The Spanish House' is located. It's an old and derelict house, in need of a lot of repairs, but it is in a wonderful location by the lake. Matt and Laura have been coveting the house for years, and when the owner dies, they are hopeful that it will be left to them, but instead it goes into his I don't think that I will ever come across a Jojo Moyes book that I don't enjoy. There is just something so great about her writing. This novel follows the lives of the people in the little village where 'The Spanish House' is located. It's an old and derelict house, in need of a lot of repairs, but it is in a wonderful location by the lake. Matt and Laura have been coveting the house for years, and when the owner dies, they are hopeful that it will be left to them, but instead it goes into his intestate estate and is passed on to some distant relative, Isabel, leaving them bitter Isabel is newly widowed, and suffering financial difficulties. All Isabel ever wanted to do was devote her life to her music, but now with her husband gone, she has to try to provide for her children. When she finds out that she has inherited a house in the country, it seems like a great new start for her and her two children. But when they arrive, they realise that the house is much more than they bargained for, and the amount of work it needs is enormous. Matt offers to help Isabel to renovate, Isabel being unaware of his desire to own the house, and soon Isabel's problems begin to multiply. The book follows the families as they struggle with their ideas of love and marriage, revenge, family life, and what it takes to make a house a home. I don't know what it is, but even though none of the characters were particularly great people, even though I found Isabel and Laura annoying (bad life choices) and thought Matt was a complete psychopath, the story was still great, it still kept me interested. A great easy read, full of family drama.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    What I really like about Jojo Moyes' books are that they are all so different, she certainly does not write to a formula, each book is very unique. 'Night Music' is a story about 'The Spanish House' - recently inherited by newly widowed Isabel and her two children. The last place they want to be is in an almost derelict house in a close-knit country village. Isabel is a successful violinist who doesn't get her hands dirty, her daughter Kitty is a sensible 15 year old who misses her friends and What I really like about Jojo Moyes' books are that they are all so different, she certainly does not write to a formula, each book is very unique. 'Night Music' is a story about 'The Spanish House' - recently inherited by newly widowed Isabel and her two children. The last place they want to be is in an almost derelict house in a close-knit country village. Isabel is a successful violinist who doesn't get her hands dirty, her daughter Kitty is a sensible 15 year old who misses her friends and son Thierry has not spoken since his father was killed in a road accident a year ago. The family have to get to grips with country living, with having no money, no water, no bathroom and no fridge. They also have to cope with Matt McCarthy - the local builder who was convinced that The Spanish House would be left to him and his wife Laura. This is a great story of loss, bereavement and obsession. It has quite sinister undertones in places and the character of Matt is especially well created - starting out as the local friendly builder and gradually getting darker and more threatening as the story evolves. Another triumph from one of my favourite authors.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    A book that was lended to my wife and that I picked up only because I’m always open to sample something new (and I’m always happy to have a book in my hand). I did recognize the author name and it’s one that is published in very ’romance’-looking paperbacks - in Sweden at least. It was a big dose of romance, but as I said in my update, I’m kind of a romantic, so suits me well. And when a book does contain a number of unseen turns, great and complex characters and is written as well as this one A book that was lended to my wife and that I picked up only because I’m always open to sample something new (and I’m always happy to have a book in my hand). I did recognize the author name and it’s one that is published in very ’romance’-looking paperbacks - in Sweden at least. It was a big dose of romance, but as I said in my update, I’m kind of a romantic, so suits me well. And when a book does contain a number of unseen turns, great and complex characters and is written as well as this one it does it is surely a good notch above the rest and a nice, absorbing read. I will read more Jojo Moyes and I would certainly recommend also this, that seem to be of her least popular.

  8. 4 out of 5

    R

    This was my second Moyes book - it was nothing like the deep and moving Me Before You. This, while an interesting story, unfortunately veered dangerously close to chick-lit ... And not in a good way. While I didn't like Isabel or Matt - both we're a bit too one-dimensional - the rest of the characters, from Byron to Kitty to the Cousins, seemed more interesting and likeable. And the whole Laura storyline felt like filler to keep this from bring a novella. I'd say this is a great beach read, but This was my second Moyes book - it was nothing like the deep and moving Me Before You. This, while an interesting story, unfortunately veered dangerously close to chick-lit ... And not in a good way. While I didn't like Isabel or Matt - both we're a bit too one-dimensional - the rest of the characters, from Byron to Kitty to the Cousins, seemed more interesting and likeable. And the whole Laura storyline felt like filler to keep this from bring a novella. I'd say this is a great beach read, but don't expect to be challenged by it or spend a lot of time thinking about it after.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Beth (bibliobeth)

    Three and a half stars from me! A while ago I set myself the challenge to read all of Jojo Moyes back catalogue after reading such gems such as Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind. Night Music is the next on my list and was first published in 2008. Unlike a lot of Moyes’ work, it does not have both a contemporary and a historical section but has a multitude of characters to get to grips with and, as always, I found the characterisation to be near perfect. As the novel opens, we are Three and a half stars from me! A while ago I set myself the challenge to read all of Jojo Moyes back catalogue after reading such gems such as Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind. Night Music is the next on my list and was first published in 2008. Unlike a lot of Moyes’ work, it does not have both a contemporary and a historical section but has a multitude of characters to get to grips with and, as always, I found the characterisation to be near perfect. As the novel opens, we are introduced to Laura and Matt McCarthy who have looked after their elderly, very obnoxious and ungrateful neighbour for a while now, not out of the kindness of their hearts but in the hope that when he dies, he will leave them his house – “The Spanish House,” in his will. Instead of this happening however to their disgust and bitter disappointment when he passes away the house is bequeathed to his grand-niece Isabel Delancey who is living in London with her two children. The house couldn’t have come at a better time for Isabel. Recently widowed after her husband died in a horrific car accident, Isabel has really been struggling. She lives, breathes and speaks music and is an accomplished professional violin player which sees her travelling round the world. Her husband had always dealt with the financial side of things and the children were looked after by a nanny so when he dies her world all but implodes. Her daughter Kitty has had to grow up very quickly frantically trying to manage the bills that her mother cannot cope with and her poor younger brother Thierry has not spoken a word since his father’s death. She finally makes her mother pull her head from the sand and face facts in that they cannot afford the lifestyle that Isabel has become accustomed to. Luckily, at this point, the family are thrown a lifeline in The Spanish House and they immediately up sticks and move to the country and try and settle into the difference that living in a small village community offers. There is no way that things are going to be easy for them though. First of all, the house is a complete mess, almost as if it is falling apart from the inside outwards and as I’m sure you can imagine, Isabel is no Miss DIY! Step forward Matt McCarthy, her knight in shining armour/builder extraordinaire. Or is he? Yes, this is the same Matt who desperately wants The Spanish House for himself and although he is instantly attracted to Isabel he is determined to sabotage the house (literally, with shoddy worksmanship) while charging her extortionate amounts for the privilege. And of course Isabel is so incredibly gullible and naive with things like this so she doesn’t see what’s happening right under her nose. As Matt attempts to drive Isabel and her family away from The Spanish House things begin to unravel very quickly and soon result in a dangerous obsession. Step forward Isabel’s (actual?) knight in shining armour, Byron Firth who works for Matt but knows exactly what kind of man he is and attempts to help Isabel through the mess she finds herself in. On a side note, many thanks to the author for giving me a fit of giggles when Byron Firth emerges all wet and dripping from a lake – wonder where her inspiration for that scene lay?! I have to be honest and say this isn’t my favourite from Jojo Moyes work but it’s definitely worth the read. Other reviewers have mentioned that they didn’t really see the point in the Laura/Matt “story on the side,” but for me, I found it a nice addition. Matt is an awful character and has cheated on his wife multiple times yet she continues to stay with him. I found myself almost pulling my hair out in frustration with her merely accepting his behaviour and thought their toxic marriage brought a sinister edge to the novel, something I’ve never seen before in a Jojo Moyes book. Isabel frustrated me too but in different ways and I ended up feeling differently towards the end of the novel. At the beginning, she appears to put her music before her family, sticks her head in the sand when faced with problems and is so incredibly gullible and naive it made me want to scream! Losing her husband and having to confront her problems made her grow up immensely and let her prove a better mother to her children as a result. If there was one character I didn’t really connect with it was Byron Firth (despite the wet shirt scene) who didn’t seem as “fleshed out,” as her other characters and I felt he had real potential to be more interesting. Apart from this, Night Music is a great read. I think Moyes’ fans will lap it up and it will hopefully bring a lot more new readers to her fan base. For my full review, please see my blog at http://www.bibliobeth.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna J. Shelby ☕

    Night Music is my first Jojo Moyes book and I am thoroughly disappointed. I was expecting something along the lines of Nicholas Sparks. The story follows a widow with her two children. Isabel is as helpless and naive as a child, to a point where she ignores her children to a degree bordering on child neglect. Her husband dies in an accident. The fmaily is forced to leave their expensive lifestyle behind and move to the country, where the drama around the Spanish house takes place. The Delancys Night Music is my first Jojo Moyes book and I am thoroughly disappointed. I was expecting something along the lines of Nicholas Sparks. The story follows a widow with her two children. Isabel is as helpless and naive as a child, to a point where she ignores her children to a degree bordering on child neglect. Her husband dies in an accident. The fmaily is forced to leave their expensive lifestyle behind and move to the country, where the drama around the Spanish house takes place. The Delancys inherit (plothole #1) the ramshackle house. The lovely neighbours, the McCarthys, picturing the dumbest housewive in literature and a handsome (unfortunately a psychopath) husband and a teenage son, want the house too. (plothole#2) The random estate agent (cz Mrs McCarthy needs a love story too) wants the house too. And let's not forget the ex-convict with the sexy hips and cute dogs (he, for a change, is not interessted in the house) The plot devices get repetitive: everyone has a crush on everyone. Everybody is cheating. All of them are emotional drama queens. I liked the gay shopkeers! That's that. The story takes nearly half of the book to get going. Everything leading up to "the action parts" just drags and drags, the house demolition and Isabels inner misery. We get so many POVs that I stopped caring right after the first chapters. It ends with a big drama. Way over the top, with the side-plot tied up so dumb, I get cramps thinking it was conjured in a female head. I think that was my last Moyes book for this year.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I have come to absolutely adore the work of author Jojo Moyes. I've only read three of her recent publications though and I was excited to see an earlier work of hers available via audiobook. Night Music follows a few different characters who all have one commonality: a dilapidated house. The synopsis is interesting and Ms. Moyes' writing remains beautiful as always, but the pace felt very slow and I had trouble remaining engaged in the story. I enjoyed the ending so overall, I liked the book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Anze

    2.5 stars Isabel Delancey is an accomplished violinist that travels to play with the orchestra until tragedy strikes. Her husband dies unexpectedly and now Isabel has to take the reign of her children, her household and her finances. Only one problem, she does not know how and as such her financial situation becomes dire. Thus, when she inherits a house from a distant relative, it comes at a most needed time. She uproots her family from London to a village to live in the 'Spanish House'. But the 2.5 stars Isabel Delancey is an accomplished violinist that travels to play with the orchestra until tragedy strikes. Her husband dies unexpectedly and now Isabel has to take the reign of her children, her household and her finances. Only one problem, she does not know how and as such her financial situation becomes dire. Thus, when she inherits a house from a distant relative, it comes at a most needed time. She uproots her family from London to a village to live in the 'Spanish House'. But the state of the house is of such disrepair that its almost unlivable and the neighbours are not exactly welcoming. Isabel is in for a rude awakening. I now have more than a few Jojo Moyes novels under my belt. I enjoy her style and have some of her books among my favorites. Having said that, 'Night Music' is far from one I loved. Isabel is recently widowed and struggling. Prior to her husband's death, she could focus on her music as her husband took care of the finances and a nanny took care of her children. Now its all on her and she is running out of money. Reluctantly she leaves London for the Spanish House hoping for a fresh start. Except that the house is in a dilapitated state, riddled with problems. Enter Matt McCarthy, her closest neighbour and a builder. He offers to help Isabel renovate the house. She accepts. What Isabel does not know is that Matt harbours resentment towards her as he expected to inherit the house himself (after his family looked after for the man that used to live in it, for years). As the house goes through renovations so does Isabel. This is a book about love, loss, revenge and obsession. The plot was intriguing though it was on the predictable side and a bith cliched in spots. I have to say that I love the supporting characters more than the main ones. All and all, this was good but not great. Still can not decide wether Isabel is an entirely sympathetic character or not. From the get-go she seemed to prioritize her violin and her music over her family. Granted that is something that changed as the plot progressed but still it never stopped bothering me. More than that though, what frustrated me most was her naiveness when in came to the renovation, how easily she trusted Matt without asking enough questions. You'd think that if you are investing a considerable amount of money in a home renovation, you might ask for a second opinion. Or a least be more involved and not simply sit to the side. But Isabel simply took Matt at face value and it literally cost her. And as for Matt, I am angry that he did not face more severe consequences for his action. Needless to say, this is not one of my favorites by Moyes.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Hill

    I've read most of what's available from Jojo Moyes here in the States, and she's become one of my favorite contemporary authors. (I gravitate towards authors from the British isles.) This novel wasn't published here that I could find, so I bought a used paperback from the U.K. The set-up is one I usually find irresistible: a character inherits an old house in the English countryside. I am very house-centric, and love nothing more than a good story with a house, preferably an old one with lots of I've read most of what's available from Jojo Moyes here in the States, and she's become one of my favorite contemporary authors. (I gravitate towards authors from the British isles.) This novel wasn't published here that I could find, so I bought a used paperback from the U.K. The set-up is one I usually find irresistible: a character inherits an old house in the English countryside. I am very house-centric, and love nothing more than a good story with a house, preferably an old one with lots of history and architectural charm, at its center. Plus a beautiful setting, of course, or at least a lush cottage garden. (Unless it's a Gothic, which requires a more foreboding atmosphere.) Still, a story where the house - whether a stately manor, crumbling castle, or (my favorite) a charming cottage - is as integral to the story as a character. So I had fairly high expectations from this author treating one of my favorite plot elements. The book doesn't open with the central character, but another woman to whom the "Spanish House" has assumed tremendous importance. It is Laura's dream house, and her husband Matt, a building contractor, has promised it will be theirs one day. Meanwhile, the miserly and crotchety old man who owns it must be cared for and catered to since he has no family, and he will surely remember those who have tended him in his old age in his will. The house is in a sad state, for the old man hasn't maintained it for decades. Of course the builder and his wife were counting their chickens before they hatched, and, as any reader would know, the old man did not leave a will specifying his wishes, and the state found the nearest living relative to inherit his estate. Isabel is reeling from the death of her husband. Mother to a teenage daughter and eight-year-old son, Isabel is unprepared to cope with single parenthood. In fact, she can't cope with much of anything. She is a leading violinist with a symphony orchestra, where the demands of touring and her music career are central to her life, while her successful husband handled the finances, and a nanny took care of the children and other domestic duties. Now her son is so traumatized by his father's sudden death that he is not speaking, and her daughter has become the practical mature one, organizing bills and important papers for her mother who disregards them. I found Isabel not very likable - rather childishly dependent, burying her head in the sand and not facing reality - that her husband had in fact left them with burdensome debt and she and her children could not continue living the lifestyle they were accustomed to, nor in the London house where they had been a happy family. Then she receives a notice that she has inherited a large house and acreage in the country, so decamps from London with her mutinous children in tow. I had expected the usual fish-out-of-water scenario, and this did play out, with the charms of small village life eventually winning over the sophisticated city dwellers. The large estate house would of course be a money pit, but with some brilliant scheme would be saved. Not exactly. A property developer discovers it and thinks the unusual house on the lake would be an ideal setting for a development and waits for his moment to approach the owner. Meanwhile, the builder, Matt, who had designs on the house from the beginning and lives in the neighboring former coach house, befriends Isabel and offers to help set the house to rights. But he actually intends to make sure that Isabel will give up and leave, and sabotages the remodeling while over-charging her. Isabel of course is clueless. Finding her savings rapidly dwindling and little to show for it, she learns how to live off the land from the quiet and mysterious Byron, who once managed the grounds for the old owner but who now works for Matt. Isabel does change and grow, but I found her transformation from a woman with no domestic aptitude to a country woman who forages and grows her food and learns to hunt, as well as hang wallboard and connect plumbing, to be a rather large leap. She misplaces her trust and it isn't until the end that she realizes the extent of how she has been deceived. Moyes does a good job of revealing the characters. The bad guy is a total bounder, the good guy sympathetic, the children act age appropriate, and the village shopkeepers are wonderfully drawn. I just wished that Isabel had more sense, or at least awareness, and displayed a little more gumption in confronting men. She does get there in the end, but through most of the book she is annoyingly vulnerable and overwrought, and of course men find her irresistibly attractive. Yet I still found her story compelling and I was totally drawn in. I have to give Moyes the credit for crafting a novel that I eagerly devoured, even while finding the main character rather aggravating. And as for the house? Sadly, it was a disappointment - an architectural mishmash, desired but unloved, its integrity compromised, bricks and mortar that never felt like a home. Sometimes the sacrifices a fading mansion requires are just not worth it, and home is simply where comfort and happiness is found. Oh, by the way, I did catch the author's wink when Byron 'Firth' emerged from the lake in all his male magnificence. I laughed out loud.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Robards

    This is the first Jojo Moyes' book I have read, and the first book I’ve read in a few months. I enjoyed it, but found some of the twists predictable and the ending with Matt’s wife disappointing. Although I didn’t mind the main character, Isabel, I found the supporting characters more fully realised in my mind as I read. Perhaps I was just expecting too much as there is a great deal of praise for Jojo books, and perhaps this was just the wrong one for me to start with. Will search down more of This is the first Jojo Moyes' book I have read, and the first book I’ve read in a few months. I enjoyed it, but found some of the twists predictable and the ending with Matt’s wife disappointing. Although I didn’t mind the main character, Isabel, I found the supporting characters more fully realised in my mind as I read. Perhaps I was just expecting too much as there is a great deal of praise for Jojo books, and perhaps this was just the wrong one for me to start with. Will search down more of her books.

  15. 5 out of 5

    (ツ) Hache

    Usually I like a book to hook me from the first sentence or even the first chapter but with this it just seemed to drag in the beginning with all the house renovating and the sad widow and her violin playing, it took me about 45-50 % till I was really hooked, so hooked that I couldn't put it down, I got so intrigued and addicted that I read it everywhere I went. I just love it when a book does that to me! The Story So it starts off with Laura and Matt McCarthy who live next to Mr pottisworth who Usually I like a book to hook me from the first sentence or even the first chapter but with this it just seemed to drag in the beginning with all the house renovating and the sad widow and her violin playing, it took me about 45-50 % till I was really hooked, so hooked that I couldn't put it down, I got so intrigued and addicted that I read it everywhere I went. I just love it when a book does that to me! The Story So it starts off with Laura and Matt McCarthy who live next to Mr pottisworth who they've been taking care of for the last 9 years, they think that if they do this that somehow Mr Potterisworth will leave them his house which is called 'The Spanish House' there obsessed with owning it. So when he does die there shocked to know its been left to one of his descendants. With Isabel's husband dead for over a year she finds she in some serious debt with bills mounting. So when she discovers she's been left the Spanish House she sells her previous house to settle some payments and uproots her 2 children from their privilege lives and move to the middle of nowhere out in the woods to the ramshackle House. With the Spanish house so rundown, Matt from next door conveniently offers his building services and renovates the house. Of course Matt has his own agenda, he still believes he can still get the house. So with his plans and designs in mind he tells her what needs doing and practically uses her money to rebuild his dream home. Matt is such a dick! I wont say more but down the line Matt gets so obsessive not just over the house but of Isabel he gets a bit crazy. Main Characters Isabel Delancy - (main character) a professional violin player, her husband Laurent died of a car crash more than 9 months ago, has two kids, 16 year old Kitty and Theirry age 9 who doesn't talk since his father died. Matt McCarthy, married to laura , cheating husband who's obsessed with owning the Spanish House. Towards the end he goes crazy Laura McCarthy, knows about her husbands cheating yet stays with him. When things go crazy she finds comfort in a man that actually cares about her. Byron Firth. (Isabels love interest) He works for Matt doing odd jobs, befriends Isabels son Thierry eventually creating this bond that has him talking again. Becomes homeless with his two dogs and box full of puppies that he ends up secretly staying under Isabel's house in the boiler room. He's a really sweet caring man. Told in third person pov jumping to a different character every chapter or paragraph. sometimes it was hard to tell who was speaking until halfway down the page when the character was named. not really a huge downer on the book though. Other spoilers and tid bits about the book (view spoiler)[When you find out the reason behind Matt's obsession/revenge on getting the Spanish house its a bit disappointing. I was like 'really? that's the reason?' And I'm kinda disappointed by the end/epilogue. I guess I wanted more, more from Byron and Isabel's ending, maybe have them moved in together with the kids, married even. and Laura's ending was unsatisfying as well. I really wanted her to end up with Nicholas, she deserved to be happy. And what about the Isabel's jewellery Matt brought back for her? we never find out if she ever got that back. (hide spoiler)] So all in all I quite enjoyed the second half. With a slow boring start which would turn most people off but if you stick with it the story does get more compelling.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Elsborg

    Newly widowed mum ends up in derelict house that a local is obsessed with owning. There were lots of interesting characters though I'd have liked more about the love interest of the heroine and less about the wife of the villain. But it kept me reading long into the night. I really like Ms. Moyes style. Lots of lovely detail and good back story with plots that make sense. The writing about the house was fantastic and the violin detail was great too. I've got an urge to get all the books of hers Newly widowed mum ends up in derelict house that a local is obsessed with owning. There were lots of interesting characters though I'd have liked more about the love interest of the heroine and less about the wife of the villain. But it kept me reading long into the night. I really like Ms. Moyes style. Lots of lovely detail and good back story with plots that make sense. The writing about the house was fantastic and the violin detail was great too. I've got an urge to get all the books of hers that I haven't already read!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paula Sealey

    I have been promising myself that I would finally get around to reading older books from some of my favourite authors, and Jojo Moyes was top of my list. I kept my fingers crossed that this one would live up to her later books...and for me, yes, it did! Quietly compelling, I enjoyed the array of characters and drama surrounding them and found Moyes' writing as beautiful as ever. Recently widowed Isabel has been left in a difficult financial situation by her deceased husband and can no longer I have been promising myself that I would finally get around to reading older books from some of my favourite authors, and Jojo Moyes was top of my list. I kept my fingers crossed that this one would live up to her later books...and for me, yes, it did! Quietly compelling, I enjoyed the array of characters and drama surrounding them and found Moyes' writing as beautiful as ever. Recently widowed Isabel has been left in a difficult financial situation by her deceased husband and can no longer afford to keep the swish London home she now occupies with her two children. Fortunately, she has been left property by a distant uncle and moves away to 'The Spanish House' in rural Norfolk. Run down and sadly lacking in amenities, it is nothing like the finery her and the children have been accustomed too. Isabel is also unaware that somebody else wants the house...badly! So badly in fact, that he is willing to stop at nothing in his attempt to own the property. Full of family secrets and well crafted characters, I was drawn into the well woven, nicely paced plot and hope her other older titles are as good.

  18. 4 out of 5

    lalalellis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Solidly enjoyed this book, but I didn’t find it particularly well-written (which never bothered me that much with her other books) and I really hated the ending. All in all, it was an enjoyable read, but it fell a bit flat. Wouldn’t not recommend, if that makes sense.

  19. 5 out of 5

    syrin

    Nope. Nope nope nope. Next!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Roden

    Slow at the start but once I got into it, couldn’t put it down!! Loved it :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Renita D'Silva

    Beautiful

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sonia189

    Just finished. It was OK but I really didn't like some characters nor some decisions made by them. I can't help but compare with the author's more recent work, something that truly appeals to me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lainy

    Time taken to read - <4 hours Pages - 416 Blurb from Goodreads The Spanish House is known to locals as an architectural folly, and it is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For the recently-widowed Isabel, the house is a potential lifeline. For her neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge. My Review Matt McCarthy and his wife, Laura, have pampered to their neighbour, taking him meals, cleaning his sheets, Time taken to read - <4 hours Pages - 416 Blurb from Goodreads The Spanish House is known to locals as an architectural folly, and it is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For the recently-widowed Isabel, the house is a potential lifeline. For her neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge. My Review Matt McCarthy and his wife, Laura, have pampered to their neighbour, taking him meals, cleaning his sheets, looking after him and putting up with his crude comments. All for the deeds of his house when he passes on, which should be soon they think, as he has no family. As it is, it passes to his niece and children, Isabel, Kitty, and Thierry, struggling with the death of her husband and their new financial issues they move to the country and learn a new way of life. However Matt isn't about to let his dream go and soon puts his plan into action, with consequences that change the lives of everyone. I love Jojo Moyes, her books are always really different from each other and her style is so easy to follow, it is like getting into your comfy slippers. I normally take to one or more of her characters, especially the main players, however, I didn't find this the case in this story. Whilst Matt is deplorable and his wife a willing accomplice, Isabel isn't a great character either. Still wrapped up in the grief of losing her husband, her children have clearly suffered, she makes poor choices that impacts them and seems to take an age to come together. I did like the wee shop keepers right enough and the grumpy handyman had some redeeming quality's as the tale goes on. As it is a country book there is some animal hunting which, whilst it doesn't go into minute detail it did still make me uneasy to read it. The story has some ups and downs, personal growth, a little bit of sex, manipulation, lies, family secrets and problems just to name a few of the themes within the book. I got through it in 4 hours so it is a good story, it just isn't her strongest although still a good tale. 3/5 for me this time, I will definitely read more by Jojo Moyes, I have read most of them already and look forward to her next.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    I really, really like this author! This was another of her earlier titles, so not in the league of Me Before You, but still extremely well plotted with numerous characters that are absolutely real and thus totally empathetic. This heroine wasn't the most like able at first (a self centered, helpless violinist who cares only about her music), but she evolves into a fully formed, three dimensional character. supporting characters are colorful and engaging and even teenagers are portrayed I really, really like this author! This was another of her earlier titles, so not in the league of Me Before You, but still extremely well plotted with numerous characters that are absolutely real and thus totally empathetic. This heroine wasn't the most like able at first (a self centered, helpless violinist who cares only about her music), but she evolves into a fully formed, three dimensional character. supporting characters are colorful and engaging and even teenagers are portrayed realistically. The plot was a bit far fetched, but somehow it all worked. I have a couple of her earlier titles still to track down and, thankfully, she is currently actively writing. The author's evolution into one of the finest of the several extremely talented current British female writers is what I most enjoy about reading her books. As one of my southern neighbors so aptly described this book and several others by Moyes, "it's delicious!"

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anne-Marie

    As always Jojo Moyes doesn't disappoint. Her storytelling is fab and the characters so well written, ones feels as though they are real. Isabel was very frustrating initially, not being able to function as a mother, when her children needed her most. By the end the changes in her are enormous. Kitty seems to come off worst, as she has to grow up too quickly to fill the gap her mother's inadequacies create.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Barber

    This book is fine, a decent story and some interesting characters (and some rather annoying). However, while it is a perfectly good read if you want something fairly light, it doesn't live up to the three of her books that I've just read - 'Me before you', 'The last letter from your lover', and 'The girl you left behind', which all pretty much blew me away ('Me before you especially'). As I say, a perfectly good, light-ish read but not one that will stick with you I don't think.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amna

    I like how Jojo Moyes' books have a way of uplifting your spirits. Her characters become alive and you experience the ups and downs of what they go through as you read. I enjoyed it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Federica Aita

    Very disappointing, considering that Moyes is the same author of Me Before You. A waste of time, a reading suitable only for when you're lying in bed tired from a long day and you need a full-drama-love-story. The end was so lame and unbelievably stupid that I just wanted to throw my tablet at the wall.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    More than a love story, or a story of grief and family, this is the story of a house. And really, I don't have anything bad to say about it, I kept reading (albeit a bit slowly), but it's very classical and nothing stands up or surprises the reader ever. It was okay, but it was nothing more than that.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Parker

    Entertaining summer read. Having working in construction/preservation and having lived in the city and the country (ok, not England), I enjoyed the settings of this book. Not everything was predictable, but the female characters were often weak and clueless.

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