book review: The Chateau of Happily-Ever-Afters (Jaimie Admans)

Sticking to a normal routine and a quiet life is the only thing that stops everything going wrong.

What’s the book about?

In general, “The Chateau of Happily-Ever-Afters*” by Jaimie Admans is a book about taking risks and breaking out from your routines (I don’t know if that is a correct saying in English, but I hope you get what I mean). There’s Wendy, a 33 year old Londoner who has a job she doesn’t like, but it pays her bills. She lives in a small flat and just inherited a castle from her neighbour, an old lady who was like family to Wendy. She didn’t know about the french chateau, despite the stories Eulalie, the neighbour, told her. Eulalie made them sound like fairy tales.

Wendy is scared of leaving her comfort zone and taking risks. I can totally relate with her. I’m not that kind of person that could move somewhere else, although in my dreams, maybe… But: leaving the comfort zone is not my thing. I’m too scared, like Wendy. But I think we have different reasons. She also doesn’t trust men, especially when it comes to money. Bad experience in her past where she lost all her money.

by the old British standard of raining cats and dogs, here it’s raining hippos and rhinoceroses.

It wouldn’t be a romance novel when there wasn’t a good looking guy, in this case: Julian. If you like abs and strong arms, then here is your man. In Wendy’s opionion, Julian is an arrogant git who just wants money from the castle. Because he is a distant relative of Eulalie, he inherits the other half of the castle. So Wendy has to share it with him. And Julian didn’t even know his great aunt!

So when Wendy leaves her comfort zone – finally! –  to see the castle personally, she doesn’t expect Julian to be there, too. And she makes it her life task to make his holiday at the castle miserable. He is only there for the treasure, which Eulalie mentioned in her will. At least, Wendy is sure he just wants money. The castle is worth nearly one million Euros. Although it’s uninhabited for 20 years (at least uninhabited by humans), the electrics aren’t working properly (luckily, Julian can fix them a bit) and there are broken windows and you have to take a shower outside. Speaking of outside: there is a garden, a big, big garden with all kinds of trees, fruits and everything you need.

and there’s some kind of cobweb Inception going on, where even the cobwebs have got cobwebs of their own.

Julian, a fitness modell, got hurt in the part and he has a broken family. His agents think he is 27 when in reality he is 38. Despite his good looks, he is guarded and unsecure. His look is only a mask, as Wendy discovers over the weeks.

We have a German saying: “Was sich liebt, das neckt sich” – that means if you love somebody, you tease him. I think that are the right words to describe Wendy’s and Julian’s relationship.

My opinion

At first I thought Wendy was acting childish towards Julian. It wasn’t fair how she treated him. She’s 33, for god’s sake! But I have to admit: sometimes I’m a bit childish, too and I’m just a bit younger then Wendy. And I think I would react similar.

It’s a funny read and I could really imagine being in this castle with Wendy and Julian. But I would be a bit scared with forty rooms and all kinds of insects living there.

With a bit of luck, it’ll drown the bats. Or at least encourage them to find a new home. If they don’t move out soon, they can just have the towers. We’ve got forty rooms. We don’t need towers too.

This novel is not very realistic, because the castle seems to have a mind of its own. And, well, how is it possible that the electronics start working step by step when Wendy and Julian are getting along better? And Julian has nothing to do with the generator. He tried to fix it, but it could only light up the light bulb in the kitchen and in one of the bedrooms.

I couldn’t put my Kindle down, but I also couldn’t carry on reading. You know that problem, right?  You can guess that I’m a bit sad of finishing the book. I would like to know more about the castle and if they can work out something to make a living there. With the cake Wendy bakes and the chestnuts in the garden. I really hope there is a second book!