*I received a free ARC of this novel with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: “A coming of age story for the mid-life crisis generation.”
When George Sibley dies, his only son, Eric, has no idea that his inheritance will come with conditions. Now, if Eric is to ever get his hands on his father’s treasured Aston Martin, he must somehow juggle his hectic career and family life in the city, with regular visits to the small riverside town of Burlam. Life for Eric quickly becomes a chaotic kaleidoscope of grumpy pensioners, wellington boots and vintage auto-mobiles, fraught with heavy machinery mishaps, missed deadlines and drug raids, the result of which leave his marriage, job and sanity hanging in the balance.
Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin is a light-hearted and humorous tale of a man who reluctantly goes digging amongst the weeds in order to discover his roots.
There is definitely more than a touch of Cat’s in the Cradle about Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin!
Eric resents his father for prioritising everything but him and being too critical, yet it is abundantly clear to the reader that he’s grown up just like him (you know he’s gonna be like him). It’s also evident that Eric’s father saw it too, and despite his death it turns out it’s never too late to make a change.
Forced to take care of his father’s old allotment against his will, or lose the only inheritance he values (a classic car called Sally), Eric is forced to make some tough decisions about where his real priorities lie.
Along the way there are some touching moments, some slapstick humour with various power tools and items of machinery, and a couple of very useful marital observations (which I made sure to impart to my own husband!).
I was slightly saddened towards the ending as I would have liked to dive more into Eric’s resolution; after following his journey from jerk to genuine it felt like a sudden rush for the finish line. I would have liked to know more about the contents of a certain tin, letter, the solicitor’s instructions, and more about the allotment tenants’ memories of the older Sibley. Similarly, whilst it is fairly obvious from the final few chapters how the story will ‘end’, I would have liked it spelled out a little more, so that having slogged through the weeds with Eric I could join him in his harvest!
Still the story is well-written and takes the reader through almost every emotion possible (I’m pretty sure I nearly burst a blood vessel myself when those handcuffs came out!). Definitely recommended to anyone who enjoys an emotional (yet humorous) story about family, life and the problems of balancing it all.
‘Just explain it to me again,’ Eric said. ‘You’re saying I get nothing? None of it? Nothing at all?’
‘No…’ The solicitor removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. ‘As I have explained, your father has left you the remaining tenancy on his allotment and his 1962 limited-edition Aston Martin DB4 series four, affectionately known as Sally, on the condition that you fully tend to the allotment on a weekly basis for the next two years.’
Eric shook his head.
‘But the house? Everything in the house? The paintings, my mother’s jewellery, all of that, it… it’s…’
‘It’s been left to the church,’ the solicitor finished for him.
– Hannah Lynn, Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin
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