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Kiwi love story

June 10, 2012

Dinner at Rose’s

By Danielle Hawkins  (NZ author)

Having spent the last five years living with her doctor boyfriend in Australia, only to catch him and her best-friend in a compromising position, physiotherapist Jo Donnelly flees to a maternity-leave job in her small home town of Waimanu, N.Z.

Coping with a dim teenage receptionist who wipes her nose on her arm,  plus a flatmate who follows her around in her quest to save power, not to mention the fact that her ex-partner and ex-friend are now engaged, life would be a bit grim if not for Aunty Rose.

Jo’s honorary Aunty Rose, who lives out of town with her pet pig in a tumbledown cottage, was her neighbour as a child and has been a very important part of her life ever since.  When Rose is hit by illness, Jo moves in to look after her, while bona fide nephew, hunky Matt King helps out as much as his farming duties allow.

As the months pass, and it’s obvious that Jo and Matthew were made for each other (except to them), Rose decides to take matters into her own hands.

This is a delightly, witty, insightful novel of friendship and love, both romantic and familial.  Despite the darker tones of Aunty Rose’s illness, the novel manages to treat this sensitively and yet with a touch of humour.  Aunty Rose is a wonderful character, and makes eccentricity seem very appealing actually.

I absolutely ADORED this book. It is the quintessial Kiwi novel and will appeal to anyone who’s ever lived on a farm, or even in a small rural town, not to mention fans of family drama and romantic comedy.  This is a gem that’s going to find a permanent place on my bookshelf.

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