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A Rural Affair

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,439 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews

Fans of Catherine Alliott's bestselling novels One Day in May and A Crowded Marriage, will love her latest gorgeously romantic novel A Rural Affair.

'If I'm being totally honest I had fantasized about Phil dying.'
When Poppy Shilling's bike-besotted, Lycra-clad husband is killed in a freak accident, she can't help feeling a guilty sense of relief. For at long last she's re

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published July 21st 2011 by Penguin
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Sharon Redfern
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poppy Shilling has been fantasizing about killing off her prig of a husband for a while. His obsessive ways, constant put-downs, and absences from their children's activities have gotten Poppy fed up. Imagine her surprise when the constables come to the door to tell her that Phil has been killed by being smooshed with a frozen block of pee that fell from an airplane. Poppy tries hard to be properly sad and grieving but she is happy to move on with her life especially when she finds out that perf ...more
Nov 30, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on, chicklit
An ok book, but certainly not the best Catherine Alliott book I've ever read. Was struggling to finish it after I'd got half way through and the stuff about the hunt made me give up completely as I find the whole act barbaric, no matter that it's a fiction set in the countryside - to portray it as a harmless hobby is WRONG! In fact I wonder if it was rather foolish of the writer to include these scenes because I can't be the only reader to find it extremely distasteful.
Shaz Goodwin
The first part of the story sets the scene for the reader of the type of man Phil was and the relationship Poppy had with him. We get to know about how they met and where Poppy was in her life when that happened. Finding out more about Poppy’s own childhood we also come to understand why she needed the supposed predictability and dominance of Phil.

Even though Poppy lives for her children and has very little confidence when Phil is alive, after his death and his secret is revealed she questions e
Poppy Shilling never thought life would come to this – raising her two children and taking care of the household on her own, while her husband Phil is always off working or cycling or handing out his passive-aggressive lists of things for her to do. She starts wondering more and more if she married the right guy, and whether she’s brave enough to walk way (with the children of course, as Phil wouldn’t have the faintest clue what to do with them). Then one day Phil’s killed by a freak accident wh ...more
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light hearted and enjoyable read, starting with the death of Phil, Poppy Shilling's husband and as the story progresses, we learn more about the background to her marriage and the reasons for her lack of grief in his loss.

Poppy develops as the tale unfolds, with the help of her friends and family who encourage her to get out, join the local choir and book club and Poppy gradually matures and grows. A very likeable character, you can sympathise with her in her loss and the way she copes with he
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I’m really surprised by the mixed reviews for this one on Amazon. Ok, including a particular incident during the hunting scene might not have been the best idea, but I really did enjoy this book from beginning to end. It’s a long time since I last read a Catherine Alliott book, but I’m now acquiring her back catalogue. The writing is genuinely witty – a bit grown-up Milly Johnson? – and although I’m not a massive fan of romantic comedy I found myself laughing out loud several times at some of th ...more
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Poppy Shilling is married to Phil they have 2 children Phil likes to be
in control of everything. She fantasizes about her Husband dying, until
one day the Police knock the door to say he has been killed, she should
be upset but why is she relived? Phil has been hiding a dark secret but
what could it be? Poppy settles into village life joining various
groups she wants to get on with her life. But can Poppy put the past
behind her and meet someone new that will make her happy? I was really
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, a good book is one that makes me feel whatever the character is feeling. This book wore me out! I felt Poppy's euphoria and her deepest depression and all the emotions in between.
Poppy had imagined, in an abstract way, how it would feel if she were to become a widow. When her husband is suddenly struck by debris from a plane, (you won't believe what the debris actually was), she is actually relieved. When a woman comes to her door after the funeral, Poppy learns that her marriage was an
Hannah Ward
Having never read any of Catherine's books before I wasn't sure what to expect. I did find it hard to get in to but once I had it was an enjoyable read. There were some very amusing moments in the story which I loved. I wasn't really sure about the plot but it seemed to work. I found myself warming to the village life and I loved it when Poppy the main character gets on a horse when she hasn't been on one for ages, I think this part really drew me into the story. I would definitely like to read ...more
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable read, like Jilly Cooper with less sex and Joanna Trollope with more laughs. All the usual country saga suspects: horses, fit local lord of the manor, randy old goats propping up the bar in the village pub, and an Aga, of course. Entirely predictable ending but it doesn't really matter, put your feet up after a hard day with this book in one hand and a glass of wine within reach of the other, and you're sorted.
Nicola Mcfall
This book was ok. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments which always appeals to me but the story was over all VERY predictable and many of the characters where completely pretentious which just doesn't appeal to me. It's an enjoyable enough read I suppose but I doubt very much that I will remember a great deal about it a few weeks down the road!
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of british chicklit
I knew how it was going to end, but I still enjoyed all the goings-on of Poppy Shilling and her friends. It was a fun story with some good laugh out loud moments. I do like Catherine alliott and definitely think that her books have got better over the years. She is one of my favourite chick lit writers.
Tamara Martinez
cute, fun but please I am so tired fumbling, bumbling woman where are the strong woman in these books.
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a fun read. It isn't going to win any awards, but there are parts that caused me to pause and do some thinking. There were other parts that caused me to chuckle aloud.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the characters in this book. A fun story~
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started out good,it held my interest and I wanted to keep reading,good likeable characters too. Poppy's husband dies and she's really ok about it as he wasn't the nicest man in the world and she's eager to see what the rest of her life has in store for her. She has her friends round to support her and all the people in their little village and they start a book club to try and help her a bit.
It's funny in places and has the potential to be entertaining but it just starts to drag on and
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began the year with a hefty queue of long serious books which I am still reading, but took a break with this light novel about a woman who finds out that her husband was having an affair before he was killed by a frozen cube of excrement dropped by a high flying jet. Just the first of many humorous twists and turns. It was a fun read and I'll probably try another by this author...but now back to the long serious books.
Zoe Peers
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Sam Hetherington

An easy read - but not my favourite book by Catherine Alliott - wished the ending happened earlier and we found out more about what happened at the end!
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story line was a little weak but I giggled throughout so a solid 3 stars.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice easy read, good story. Love Catherine Alliott books and this didn't disappoint.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Binge
Poppy Shilling is in a loveless marriage. Her husband Phil works all the time and then goes out and rides his bicycle. He’s constantly Lycra-clad which, is not necessarily a good look for him. He’s never home to help take care of their two children and gets more and more irritated with them all the time. Poppy wonders how he’ll die. Will he be walking under scaffolding and get hit by a rogue falling hammer? Or will it be something simpler. What it ends up being is completely freaky and a bit sho ...more
Catherinehaine Haines
A women who married second best and regretted it. She fantasised that he would meet an untimely death never thinking that it would happen. It becomes reality and then she finds out he has been having an affair for years.
It's how she copes afterwards which makes the book worth reading and very funny at times.
Best Crime Books & More
I have read all of Catherine Alliott’s books and looked forward to another (hopefully) good read. When I ordered my book from Amazon I couldn’t help but notice that there were already 4 reviews, 2 of which loved it and 2 of which loathed it. I was quite surprised by such an extreme reaction.
Having now read the book I can understand why there was such a divide. Happily for me I liked this book. In the intro of the book we meet Poppy, the wife who sometimes resents her mean husband. The type of la
Hannah Fielding
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite thing about writer Catherine Alliott is the strong author voice that is entirely consistent across her books. When I pick up a Catherine Alliott, I know to expect lively, realistic romance with a hint of humour, and A Rural Affair does not disappoint.

I read the book over several days, and found myself looking forward to picking it back up and reading on. There’s a strong sense of setting – a rural English village – and a great cast of characters who reminded me a little of the cast
SOS Aloha
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Geographically, Ireland is a medium-sized rural island that is slowly but steadily being consumed by sheep.- Dave Barry

A RURAL AFFAIR takes place in England (not Ireland) but a sheep creates a comedic scene that would inspire Barry to chuckle. In fact, I believe Barry would appreciate Alliott’s subtle humor as the story unfolds from Poppy Shilling’s point of view. Her absent husband is demeaning. He cares little for the children. Despite his busy schedule, he finds time to cycle across the count
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I have read by Catherine Alliott but I shall certainly look forward to reading more as I found this a very enjoyable read with several laugh out loud moments. The writing was witty and entertaining (despite the serious subject of Poppy’s husband Phil dying very suddenly (and in a most bizarre way). The marriage had not been a particularly happy one and Poppy had harboured fantasies in which her husband was dead and the family were free of him. Initially her feelings were ...more
It lurched to and fro from very good to fairly bad. For the first half or so, I thought, I'm reading a rather good book. A book in which an unexpected widow goes through a series of emotions, from calm to depression to exhilaration ... with a solid group of interesting female friends at her side, each standing in for a different aspect of woman: the angry separated wife, the fed up wife of a charming man-child, the wise older widow.

It all felt like a bit of an interesting think piece of being a
Ruth Bucherer
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I picked up this book at the campsite office for lack of having anything to read during my summer holiday. I chose two books by Rosie Goodwin along with "A Rural Affair" by Catherine Alliott. While I found the former two books far too depressing, this one was a breath of fresh air.
Since then I've bought about 12 more books by her and have only three to go now, never being disappointed.

What caught my attention were two differences to other romance novels:

- Incredibly skilful and witty writing s
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Catherine Alliott was born and raised in Hertfordshire. After graduating from Warwick university she moved to London, where she worked as a copywriter in advertising. She now lives with her husband, a barrister, and their three children.
More about Catherine Alliott...

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