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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

The Reading Group: April by Della Parker


Serena, the ambitious young Headmistress of Poppins Private School, has just begun reading Jane Eyre alongside her friends in the Reading Group. She would never admit it out loud, but she's half hoping that reality might once again echo fiction. Will she perhaps meet her own Mr Rochester?

That doesn't stop her from being slightly alarmed when her secretary arranges an appointment with one Mr Winchester, the handsome father of a troubled pupil in the midst of a messy divorce. But when the line between work and pleasure begins to blur, and troubles in her own family come to a head, Serena is left wondering if being a romantic heroine is all it's cracked up to be...

Meet the Reading Group: five women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red!


The idea behind this series of books is a sound one. I didn't come into it until April (this one is the fourth in a series of at what I anticipate to be least twelve novellas) and although I really would have liked to have started at January, I did't feel that I'd missed out because it worked fine as a stand-alone. Though it's a quick read, it's a spritely and pacey one, and with plenty going on to drive the story forward, it felt more like a full length novel.

The author skilfully mirrored Jayne Eyre, bringing the older story into a modern setting and giving it a fresh twist, whilst not claiming to be a re-make. I also liked the way the characters are similar, though they also reflect the present day.

The whole thing is a thoroughly enjoyable quick read.

About the Author

Della Parker lives in a Dorset village with her two large hounds.

Before becoming a writer she worked as a Customer Services Manager for a water company. Solving customer complaints is not a million miles away from solving plot problems, so Della thinks her former life was quite a good background for a writer. And of course there were the wonderful characters she met.

When Della is not writing she enjoys running marathons and going to the gym for long workouts. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the time to pursue these worthwhile hobbies as often as she’d like to – as she much prefers writing!

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