Overworked, over budget and just so not over him! Kate would like an engagement ring from Steve but instead he’s lumbered them with a thirteenth renovation project, and doing up Myrtle Cottage disturbs a ghost from the English Civil War who has romance troubles of her own.
Nell Dixon’s latest novel which was released as an ebook earlier this month is a chick lit ghost story – perfect for featuring as my Halloween review! The book follows the fortunes of Kate and Steve who have recently split up from their long term relationship but still live together whilst they complete their thirteenth renovation project on the historic Myrtle Cottage. Tensions are high as the couple try to work together despite their differences and the drama escalates as Kate begins to experience spooky goings on at Myrtle Cottage.
Renovation, Renovation, Renovation mixes a more traditional modern day ‘relationship’ story with an historic relationship drama involving one of Myrtle Cottage’s previous occupants. I really liked the paranormal side to the story and the mystery of the ghostly girl (Mary Ann) that Kate encounters. The main narrative and Mary Ann’s parts of the story are both told in the first person and present tense which I thought made the story interesting as both women see each other as ‘ghostly spirits’ – an original take on the haunted house type story that I was expecting.
I loved the historical aspect of the book and as Kate joins a course on historic buildings, I enjoyed the historical building detail that Nell put into the story. I was a little disappointed that Mary Ann didn’t feature more; I felt like she had a fascinating story to tell and I found myself wanting to hurry through the modern day parts of the book to find out more about her fate, but she often only appeared for a short paragraph in a chapter!
In addition to Kate and Mary Ann’s relationship woes, there is a lot going on in this book as Kate’s mum and sister each have their own life-changing sub-plots and Kate’s ex Steve (ex-member of a popular boy band) is reunited with a fellow band member who wants to resurrect his career. Add in a romantic interest for Kate in the form of Mike, the tutor from her evening class and there was certainly plenty to keep me turning the pages.
There is also a lot of humor in the novel but it wasn’t quite as lighthearted as I was expecting and although I liked the ending, I felt like there were quite a few parts to the story that were left open and characters for which I wanted to know what happened next which shows what a good job Nell did of getting me attached to her characters!
Renovation, Renovation, Renovation is a quick read that kept me engrossed and I really enjoyed the originality of the ghostly element to it. The book had the perfect level of spookiness for me and is an ideal Halloween read for chick lit lovers!
Renovation, Renovation, Renovation is out now in ebook format and will be released on 5th March 2012 in paperback. I’d like to thank Nell for sending me a review copy.
You can find out more about Nell and her novels at: http://www.nelldixon.com/home.aspx