Starting Over (Starling Hill Trilogy, Book 1) – Jen Silver & Nicola Victoria Vincent (narrator)

3.5* – I won’t lie, the reason I wanted to listen to Starting Over was that it’s narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent, whose narration of Cari Hunter’s books I adore so I wanted to see (hear?) what she sounded like with another author.

So far I had only read one of Jen Silver’s books, Country Living, and it was a 3.5* for me. This one, her debut novel, is too. And I’ve come to the conclusion that, while Jen Silver’s books may not be my kind of books, they were totally worth my time. They don’t move me the way I prefer but they’re well-written and well-paced, the characters are complex and from the two I’ve read, they focus on older characters, which is a nice change (I read Elena Graf’s Hobbs series for the same reason).

At the beginning of Starting Over, Ellie, a potter living on the farmhouse she has inherited from her parents, is angry at Robin, her philandering lover of more than twenty years and her business partner, for letting her latest fling come to visit. She has always known of Robin’s cheating ways but never until now has she had to be directly confronted to one of Robin’s other women. As if the situation wasn’t awkward enough already, after Jasmine (the London fling), more people keep arriving: Jo, her dog and the flowery van they live in; Katherine, an archaeology professor Ellie had her own retaliating fling with; Ellie’s son Aiden and his girlfriend Sophie… Add to that the discovery of old human bones in Ellie’s field and it all becomes a perfect mess.

I never really got invested in whether Ellie and Robin would find their way back to each other, but I really liked Jo. She seems flighty and superficial at first, a cliché of a hippie chick, but she’s much wiser and kinder than the others deserve.

And I loved Nicola Victoria Vincent narration, once more. Her talent with voices and accents made each character unique and easy to identify. All in all, I’m glad I gave this book a chance.

3 stars

Starting Over @ Jen Silver’s website

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