When Laurie returns to Bristol, Nadia knows something is wrong and she’s right. Laurie breaks up with her, he wants to explore other options and enjoy his career. Fast forward fifteen months. Nadia has a chance encounter with Jay Tiernan, he rehabs houses for profit – and once he finds out Nadia is a gardener, hires her to fix up his new buy.
Nadia and Jay are still attracted to each other, but just when things start heating up, Laurie returns, professing his undying love for Nadia and claiming he made a mistake. Nadia is torn and can’t make up her mind which guy she wants.
Another Mansell book that I really enjoyed, Nadia knows best is a fun, light read that will sink its teeth in from page one and having you flipping pages at warp speed. Nadia’s love life isn’t the only star of this book, but the rest of the Kinsella clan as well. From Nadia’s eccentric grandmother, Miriam (who’s keeping her own secrets) to her dad James and sisters Clare and Tilly it’s not just a book about picking the right guy but about family – even if they drive you mad.
I loved the cast of characters and the antics of the Kinsella family. They were fiercely close and loyal to a fault. I didn’t get on with Clare, Nadia’s sister. She was a selfish cow (wow look at me being British) and too bratty for her age. Nadia’s younger sister Tilly, at age thirteen was more mature than Clare.
As I was reading this novel, I was thinking about British chic lit and how much I really enjoy Jill Mansell’s writing. It’s light and quick to read, but the story is always a good one. They are not just about finding mister right, they are also about family and both books I have read so far touched on more serious issues. In Nadia Knows Best, the stronger issues are a neglectful mother and the effects on a young daughter.
I really admire the British women depicted in Mansell’s books, they are strong and independent. They say what’s on their minds (not always a good thing re: Clare) and they aren’t afraid to eat- even around men. They are comfortable in their own skin (even size 12 – the horror). It’s really refreshing to read these types of books.
Overall, I think this is a good choice for summer reading. It’s light, fun and a quick read. There weren’t as many British-isms as the first Mansell book I read – rumour has it but it had a sprinkling. I leave you with another new favorite line: “What a mess, what a complete and utter balls-up.” (pg. 96).