Friday, 18 August 2017

Book Review: Practice Makes Perfect by Penny Parkes

The Blurb
The Practice at Larkford has suddenly been thrust under the spotlight – and its nomination as a ‘NHS Model Surgery’ is causing the team major headaches. Dr Holly Graham should be basking in the glow of her new romance with fellow doctor, Taffy – but she is worried that the team is prioritising plaudits over patients, and her favourite resident, the irreverent and entertaining Elsie, is facing a difficult diagnosis. Add to that the chaos of family life and the strain is starting to show.
Dr Dishy Dan Carter’s obsession with work is masking unhappiness elsewhere – he can’t persuade girlfriend Julia to settle down. It’s only as Julia’s mother comes to stay that he realizes what she has been hiding for so long. Alice Walker joins the team like a breath of fresh air and her assistance dog Coco quickly wins everyone round – which is just as well, because Coco and Alice will soon need some help of their own. Can they pull together and become the Dream Team that the NHS obviously thinks they are?
Out of Practice won the Romantic Comedy of the Year category of the RNA Awards.
My Review

My thanks to Simon & Schuster and the author for my review copy of this book.

What a delight it was to return to Larkford and to catch up with Holly, Taffy and the inhabitants of this cosy Cotswold village. Practice Makes Perfect is the second in the trilogy, with Out of Practice being the first - you can read my review here and then buy it here. You don't have to have read it before you read this one, but you'll probably find you want to read it anyway so you can find out everyone's back-story!

Life is going well for Holly and the other GPs at the local surgery, working together with no senior GP. Until, that is, someone on high decides its a good idea to put the spotlight on them as a model for the NHS, AND put a TV crew filming their every move... 

Penny Parkes writes with a true understanding of the chaos of family life. All the characters are written with love and care, making the reader feel as if they know them. There's lots going on for them: Glamorous octogenarian Elsie returns early from a cruise, causing concern, though she's still able to spout out her little gems of wisdom; there's a bet on to see if anyone can get the Major to go to the Surgery; and be prepared to feel sympathy for the frosty Julia, when we meet her mother. 

Then of course there is Holly and Taffy, now working and living together. But Taffy keeps mentioning the 'M' word, and Holly is still dealing with the fallout from her marriage to Milo.

The real highlight of the book for me was the introduction of new GP Alice and her assistance dog, Coco, who prove themselves to be quite an addition to the team. Alice is lovely, and her dog is a really very clever little thing.

Practice Makes Perfect is a joyful, lighthearted read; it's perfect escapism.

The book was published on 29th June 2017 by Simon & Schuster, and you can get your copy here.

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