A British woman struggles to deal with her eminent family’s legacy and her own unhappiness as she opens an eclectic shop in her hometown.
Suzanna Peacock’s mother, Athene, a glamorous socialite who was known for being flighty and spoiled, died before Suzanna could ever get to know her. Raised by her father and his second wife, Vivi, Suzanna grew up with lots of love but also Athene’s complicated legacy hanging over her head. That’s why Suzanna was all too happy to escape her family and move to London. But when she and her husband, Neil, are forced to move back to her small hometown and live on the family estate, Suzanna feels trapped and isolated. Looking for an outlet, she opens a shop, The Peacock Emporium. She fills it with things she finds beautiful and offers espresso, hoping to create a place of her own. What she inadvertently designs, though, is a gathering place for the town’s residents. Suzanna becomes particularly interested in Alejandro, a male midwife from Argentina who seems to understand her more than her husband does. She also makes friends with Jessie, a friendly and free-spirited young mother who starts working in the shop. With the help of several townspeople, Suzanna discovers that she must take control of her own life and come to terms with her family’s history if she ever wants to be happy. Moyes excels at creating quirky characters and sweeping stories, but her latest lacks the sense of humor and epic love story that made her hit Me Before You (2012) such a success. Although this is Suzanna’s story, frequent point-of-view shifts are distracting and make it more difficult to focus on her journey. Still, there are quite a few tear-jerking scenes and lovable characters that should make Moyes fans happy.
An interesting premise that’s stuffed with too many characters.