Liz Dewhurst was born and raised on a farm in rural Scotland, near the iconic St. Andrew’s Golf Course. When her husband publically runs off with another woman, Liz and her son move across the fields and into the farm owned by her father. Unfortunately, the neighboring farms are tied together financially and both are sinking fast. When developers offer to purchase the land for a new golf course development, it has the potential for bailing the family out, but at the expense of losing the land they’ve lived on for five generations.
At the beginning of this story, Liz is bitter and worn out. She is in desperate need of getting her groove back. In fact, at the start of this novel all of the characters seems gray and dreary. (Understandably. They are dealing with some tough stuff.) However, through some chance encounters with foreign strangers, the family is given new life.
I loved the tie to the land that this family had. Coming from a farming area of the country, I know how the family farms struggle. It was nice to see how the characters coped with the inevitable demise of their livelihood and sought to carve out new niches for themselves.
One of the things I thought the author did well was including all of the family in on the story, even Liz’s wayward husband. The character development of Liz’s father was especially touching. I have to say though… Liz makes an extremely poor decision near the end of the book that made me want to hurl it across the room. Oh, well, characters will break your heart sometimes.
Overall, I give Starting Over…
Plot – 2 ½ bookmarks
Character Development – 3 bookmarks
Love Story – 2 bookmarks (This is hard because there are multiple love stories going on at the same time, yet none of them dominate the plot.)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Tilda Swinton (Liz), Daniel Craig (Will), Cherry Jones (Roberta)