Sunday, 29 May 2016

Book Review: Out of Practice by Penny Parkes

Meet married mum of two and successful GP Holly Graham as she relocates her family to join the team at The Practice at Larkford, hoping to find the peaceful life she craves, despite the chaos that comes with her two year old twins and the troublesome state of her marriage. It will certainly be a challenge to keep her private and professional lives separate in such a tight-knit community.
Her colleagues have their own issues to contend with. The gorgeous Dr Dan Carter is struggling with to focus on work and the last thing he needs is any more stress; having his ambitious ex-girlfriend Dr Julia Channing working alongside him isn't really helping. Thankfully, the rather delectable Dr Taffy Jones is on hand to distract Holly from the escalating situation at home.
Feisty octogenarian and resident celebrity, Elsie Townsend, is Holly's favourite patient and saving grace. Elsie's inspirational Life Lessons come at the perfect moment, as The Practice is suddenly under threat of imminent closure and Holly rediscovers her voice and her priorities just in time …
I was lucky enough to be given a special proof edition by the publishers Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

Holly Graham is mother to adorable twins, wife to Magnificent *snigger* Milo and has the weight of the word on her shoulders when she takes on a new role as GP in the lovely village of Larksford.

Poor Holly's self-esteem is at an all time low. Her husband, Milo, constantly puts her down, and is confusing her with his erratic behaviour. One moment he is horrible and condescending; the next he blindsides her with his charm, and she wonders if she is going mad. She is determined to ride through the rough patch because she doesn't want to deny her two boys their father. But as time goes on, she wonders if they would all be better off without him.

Her friendship with Lizzie isn't much help. Lizzie is always badmouthing Milo, hating the way he treats Holly, but she is oblivious to the way she herself manipulates Holly.  She is constantly putting her friend down, belittling her and eroding Holly's self-esteem. Between Milo and Lizzie, it's surprising that Holly isn't a shivering wreck.

But then Holly makes such an impact at the doctor's surgery she works at. She makes so many new friends, including Doctors Dan and Taffy, and the irrepressible Elsie, always on hand to hand out her life lessons and advice – and the odd cocktail.

Out of Practice is a brilliant funny read, and very touching in parts. One of the twins, Ben, is quite sensitive, and seeing how he develops as Holly has some choices to make is lovely.

A great story of community and village life – just what the doctor ordered!

The Out of Practice ebook is out now, or you can pre-order the paperback here (other retailers are available!

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