Review: The Summer House of Happiness by Daisy James



Love is in the air…

Gabbie Andrews’ dreams of becoming a professional perfumer at the prestigious House of Gasnier in Paris are finally coming true. Until she drops a bottle of the most expensive oil and she’s fired on the spot!

Now that she’s back in Devon, she soon finds that her herbal remedies are in more demand than she ever imagined. And when she bumps into Max, the gorgeous mechanic who works at her father’s garage, life might just be about to change forever…

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley          My Rating: 4/5 stars

Pain has a way of clouding one’s judgement, one’s path in life, and that is certainly what’s happened to Gabbie Andrews.  In the wake of her mother’s death, Gabbie left her small English hometown, enrolled in a prestigious aromatherapy program, and has gone on to become a stand out in one of France’s most important perfume houses.  It is at the most critical moment of her career that Gabbie realizes, being squirreled away in a lab, away from people and helping others isn’t what she wants long-term. 

After a stunning tantrum by her boss, Abbie finds herself packing her bags and heading home to jolly old England, her beloved father, and the automotive garage that has been a part of her family for several generations.  Coming home is bittersweet.  On the one hand, Gabbie is back among those who know and love her while on the other hand, she is facing difficulties she never anticipated.  Her father looks to be in bad physical shape, her once neat and tidy home is a dirty mess, the garage is even worse condition, and the memories of her mother and the pain of her loss is nearly overwhelming. 

Gabbie has two choices, wallow in self-pity while she tries to figure out her life or dive into the mess and try and make some sense of her home while she tries to figure out her life.  Clearly, Gabbie is going to help her father which means sorting out the house and the garage.  While the house comes together quickly, the garage is a cat of a different color.  While the mechanics are constantly busy, the books and outstanding invoices tell a very different story.  The creditors are knocking on the door, the bank isn’t inclined to help, and Gabbie is concerned about the toll this mess is taking on her father’s health. 

Running parallel to the family/garage mess is Gabbie’s personal life.  Gabbie only began her work with aromatherapy as a means of helping her mother through her cancer treatments.  Some of Gabbie’s happiest memories with her mother happened in their small shed working with scents and oils, creating bespoke concoctions meant to help.  Though she had no intention of going back into the small building she and her mother worked in together, circumstances arise that cause Gabbie to return to the small building and face her grief head on.  As one thing leads to another, Gabbie rediscovers her love of learning, mixing, and helping which leads her down a path she never saw for her life.

The Bottom Line:  The first bit of this book nearly caused me to DNF this title, but I’m ultimately glad I plowed through the awkward bits and got to the good story.  The good story begins when Gabbie returns home and begins to dive into the mess that is her home and her life.  Though the work is difficult, physically and emotionally, every step is one step closer to Gabbie healing and being able to move forward with the life she truly wants.  There is nothing easy about Gabbie’s path, but it is a necessary evil that teaches her so much about love, friendship, kindness, generosity, and the power found in helping others.  This is absolutely a feel-good book with literally everything working out in the end.  There is just the right amount of drama and romance to enhance the read, good characters that are worth rooting for, and story that is just sweet and simple.

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One Comment on “Review: The Summer House of Happiness by Daisy James

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