Title: Out of Practice
Author: Penny Parkes
Published: by Simon & Schuster
May 23rd 2016 (ebook)
July 28th 2016 (paperback)
Blurb: Out of Practice is based around a large country medical practice, which proves to be a hotbed of rivalry, resentment and romance - and that's just the doctors. Think James Herriot meets House.
Meet married mum of two and successful GP Holly Graham as she relocates her family to join the team at The Practice at Beckerford, 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…
First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Review: What a delightful read Out of Practice turned out to be! The story centers around Holly Graham, a GP who has just taken a new job and has relocated all her family to the idyllic village of Larkford. She hopes to be able to spend more time with her twins and rekindle her marriage there. But things don't exactly go according to plan. The GP surgery where she has started working is not the quiet setting she was expecting, with rivalries, envies and lies at every corner and soon she finds herself fighting for her job. Luckily for Holly, not everyone is hostile in her new work place and she soon forges great friendship both in the surgery and the village.
For me, the story has two strong points: the charming characters and the cute setting with this community feeling only small villages provide. As the main character, Holly is really easy to like and as the story progresses and we start seeing a happier Holly, even more so. I was rooting for her since the first page and I found her character well developed and interesting. The star of the story though has to be local celebrity Elsi Townsend. She certainly was the most quirky, charming and wise of all the characters, always ready to help even if her health is not what it used to be. She instantly takes a shine to Holly and they develop a deep friendship that will help both of them. And obviously, there are also a couple of sexy doctors in the book too, with their own stories and problems.
Out of Practice is not a short book (I think it's around 500 pages) but I was surprised at how quickly I read it. The main plot is perfectly entwined with several subplots that hold your attention from cover to cover and soon your start feeling like one more in this lively community. The book has a lot of surprises, a good dash of romance and plenty of hilarious moments, but above all it is a charming and uplifting story about finding oneself again. Definitely a book not to miss this summer.
Rating: 4 stars