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Peacock Emporium (2015)

Peacock Emporium (2015)

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3.39 of 5 Votes: 2
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0340830085 (ISBN13: 9780340830086)
coronet books

About book Peacock Emporium (2015)

After finding a new favourite author in the form of Jojo Moyes, I’m now on a mission to read everything she ever wrote and today’s review is on The Peacock Emporium, published in 2004. Similar to the previous book I read – Foreign Fruit, the story is set in two time frames, the first is in the 1960′s and deals mainly with the fortunes of the aristocratic Fairley-Hulmes family, when the young heir Douglas falls madly in love with a woman he meets at one of their famed parties. Always one to stand out in a crowd, Athene Forster is beautiful and glamorous but also selfish and slightly wild according to the standards of the times. Blinded by her vivacity and spirit Douglas marries her but soon repents as Athene suddenly leaves him to have an affair with a salesman much to her families embarrassment and horror.Cut to the present day and our protagonist is Suzanna Peacock, daughter of Athene, who hasn’t had an easy life under the shadow of her notorious mother. Her father Douglas re-married again and his second wife has raised Suzanna as if she were her own yet Suzanna has always felt like she did not belong in the family, and that her father preferred her half-siblings as she was a painful reminder of his first wife. On top of this she is also having problems in her own marriage, and does not know what to do for the best. For a bit of a distraction from her problems she puts into action one of her dreams, opening a store called The Peacock Emporium, selling beautiful and unique goods with a little help from some new friends, Jessie and Alejandro who both have skeletons in the closet themselves. When tragedy strikes, Suzanna realises the true meaning of family love and friendship and begins to put into place the jigsaw puzzle of her own life.As with Foreign Fruit, I loved that part of this novel was set over two time frames. The author does a fantastic job of setting the scene and explaining the history behind the characters whilst knitting together a multi-layered and intriguing plot. Not only did I fall head over heels in love with the story but I thought some of the characters were truly wonderful. Among my favourites were wild-child Athene, the dependable Alejandro, and the troubled but vibrant Jessie. There are so many different strands to this story but I loved how past experiences of each character was blended together perfectly to form a tale with so many important messages about family and looking after the ones you love. You would think that a novel with so many layers may over-complicate things and hinder the reading process but I can honestly say that this was never a factor for me – I just enjoyed immersing myself in the lives of the fascinating people that Jojo Moyes created. Another Jojo Moyes book read, another thumbs up from me!Please see my full review at

Jojo Moyes is al een tijdje mijn favoriete chicklitauteur: ze schrijft geen al té oppervlakkige verhaaltjes maar weet er altijd een interessante verhaallijn of twee in te stoppen en personages waar aan gewerkt werd. In dit boek volgen we de rijke familie van Suzanna en ontdekken we allerlei geheimen.Het mysterie ligt er soms iets te dik op, alsof Moyes met opzet pas om de laat ons zeggen vijftig bladzijden iets nieuws wil prijsgeven. Zo kom je er pas op het einde achter hoe Athene nu eigenlijk is gestorven.Anderzijds zijn niet alle verhaallijnen even goed uitgewerkt. Je komt nooit te weten wat er met die baby is gebeurd. De eerste scène met Alejandro en de adoptie-bevalling lijkt weinig bij te dragen tot de rest van het verhaal. De ‘passie’ tussen Alejandro en Suzanna lijkt nogal gekunsteld; ze kussen verdorie niet eens, en seks komt er als ik het goed heb begrepen ook helemaal niet van. Jason die zo ziekelijk jaloers is, dat wordt in twee alinea’s uitgelegd vlak voor hij zijn vriendin en de moeder van z’n kind doodrijdt.Het hele flashback-flashforward-gedoe hoefde voor mij niet; het stukje over Jessie’s dochtertje is er zelfs met de haren bijgesleept en had er beter achteraf aan toegevoegd geweest (want het verraadde te veel van wat er komen ging).Maar de grote lijn van het verhaal, de wereld waarin je terechtkomt (die van de verwende rijke mensen namelijk, mijn god wat heb ik me soms aan die Suzanne geërgerd, zo egoïstisch en verwend die zich gedroeg), het was aangenaam om te lezen, jammer dat het niet beter werd uitgewerkt hier en daar, maar het is en blijft chicklit.

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Time Taken To Read - 2.5 daysBlurb From GoodreadsIn the Sixties, Athene Forster is the most glamorous girl of her generation. Nicknamed the Last Deb, she is also beautiful, spoilt and out of control. When she agrees to marry dashing young heir Douglas Fairley-Hulme her parents breathe a sigh of relief. But within two years rumours have begun to circulate about Athene's affair with a young salesman. Thirty five years on, Suzanna Peacock is struggling with her glamorous mother's legacy. At odds with her father and his second wife, struggling in a stalled marriage, she returns to the place of her birth to find that the ghost of her mother, in differing ways, still haunts them all. The only place she finds comfort is in her shop, The Peacock Emporium, a coffee shop-cum-curio store, decorated in her own image, which provides a haven for other misfits in the town. There she makes perhaps the first real friends of her life, including Alejandro, a male midwife, escaping his own ghosts in Argentina. But the spectre of Athene and the shop itself combine to set in place a chain of tragic events, forcing Suzanna to confront the feelings she has disguised for so long - and her family, in their varying ways, finally to deal with the events of the past. And Suzanna discovers the key to her history, and her happiness, may have been in front of her all along.My ReviewThe story splits in time, we visit the past to get some of the background story then come to the present with Suzanna and the build up of her character and story which eventually all links together. Suzanna is the main character but this didn't become apparent until later on in the story. Whilst I did enjoy this story I found the first bit slow going and it wasn't until I got through a chunk of it and the picture pulled together that I really started to enjoy it.Suzanna is unhappy, her life has been turned upside down and in a bid to get her to come to his way of thinking her husband helps her set up a shop which becomes The Peacock Emporium. It brings together a small town and helps Suzanna learn who she is and find love, friendship and to enjoy others company. I disliked Suzanna to start with but once you understand more about her family life and watch how her character grows, you tend to warm towards her. There are a few unexpected surprises and shocks and we visit the past again near the end where my questions I had been left with were all answered ( I was worried I was going to be left hanging). The second half of the book comes together really well and I loved how it all came together. I really like this authors way of writing so will continue reading through her books as I do enjoy them. Slow to start but worth keeping with, 4/5 for me.

I'm sorry but after reading "The Last Letter from Your Lover," by Jojo Moyes I had high hopes for this book. I'm afraid I was disappointed. I absolutely could not stand the main character. I found her annoying and depressing. Through out the entire book all you want to do is meet this main character just so you can tell her to grow up and stop complaining. Every time I would finish a chapter I felt like my life was just as crappy's as the main character. While Jojo Moyes does a great job in getting us inside a slightly depressed, deeply unhappy character's mind I still couldn't find myself caring at all about this main character. I didn't care if she ever found happiness or resolved any of her problems...all I wanted was to hurry up and finish the book.All in all, I found it was a complete and utter push to get through this book and fought every urge to not toss it to the side after just a few chapters.
—Nicole Jeffries

The book opens in 2001 with a midwife in Buenos Aires involved in a delivery which leaves a bittersweet taste. The next chapter takes us back almost forty years, when Vivi is going to a dance with her friend Douglas. That story continues for a few chapters, as we get to know Douglas and his family rather better... then suddenly we're back to 2001, and a young woman called Suzanna Peacock who is feeling frustrated in life in general, and plans to open a shop - the Peacock Emporium of the book's title. Reading just a chapter or two at night, I found myself totally confused at first, wondering how on earth these diverse threads would meld together. But gradually I found myself drawn more and more into the story, which is full of believable, and mostly likeable people, along with a few caricatures. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at all, but by the end could barely put it down. The writing is crisp and very readable; the story cleverly bound together, even if the viewpoint and decade switches are sometimes a little confusing. Recommended.

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