When Darcy McCall loses her beloved Aunt Molly, she doesn’t expect any sort of inheritance – let alone a small island. Located off the west coast of Ireland, Tara hasn’t been lived on for years, but according to Molly’s will Darcy must stay there for twelve months in order to fully inherit, and she needs to persuade a village full of people to settle there, too. Darcy has to leave behind her independent city life and swap stylish heels for muddy wellies. Between sorting everything from the plumbing to the pub, Darcy meets confident Conor and ever-grumpy Dermot – but who will make her feel really at home?
I had heard lots of great things about Ali McNamara’s debut novel From Notting Hill with Love… Actually so when I was offered the chance to read her new novel I was pleased to be able to give it a go.
For me the book started pretty slowly, I wasn’t particularly grabbed by the plot – Darcy is introduced as your typical city dwelling chick lit protagonist, image obsessed and career focused. When she discovers that she has inherited an island providing she builds a community on it for a year she of course is pushed into accepting the challenge and sets about it. It was once the “casting” of the islanders and the move had taken place that I started to enjoy the plot more. I particularly liked seeing how they built the community, and the involvement of Eamon – the island’s only established resident, though I would have liked to get to know some of the new islanders more.
I initially found Darcy to be a very hard to like character, as the plot developed and her character did too I did find myself warming to her more. I found the same with Dermot, one of the two men who have their eye on Darcy. When we first meet him he’s not very likeable at all, I actually found that he bothered me so much that in my dreams the night I started reading the book he was there being all disapproving. Again though he became more likeable over the course of the book and eventually I did find myself rooting for him.
The island, Tara, is almost a character in herself. I loved the idea of this little island, and I loved the hints of folklore that were sprinkled throughout the book though for me these could have been expanded on more – there were a couple that I kept expecting to see become integral parts of the plot but this did not happen.
Overall I found Breakfast at Darcy’s to be a fairly enjoyable read that started off slowly but left me feeling content by the end. It sadly did not live up to my expectations based on the hype around From Notting Hill with Love… Actually but I’m certainly glad I kept going with it.
Breakfast at Darcy’s is published in paperback by Sphere in the UK priced £6.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.