Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Good Year for the Roses” as Want to Read:
A Good Year for the Roses
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Good Year for the Roses

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  812 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Life hasn't been a bed of roses for Londoner Molly Taylor lately. Newly divorced and struggling to find a new home and a way to support her three boys, she's stunned when her beloved Aunt Helena dies and leaves her Harrington Hall, a three-hundred-year-old manor house on the Devon coast, where Molly grew up. But does Molly really want to run a bed-and-breakfast in an old h ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Good Year for the Roses, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Good Year for the Roses

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  812 ratings  ·  160 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Good Year for the Roses
Mary Lynn
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is absolutely delightful and absolutely plot-less. It is essentially a checklist of fantasy items that happen to a recently divorced woman when she inherits a large beautiful country estate in England. Adorable, intelligent, reasonably well-behaved children, check. Wacky yet lovable relatives, check. Gorgeous gardens she doesn't actually have to maintain herself, check. Fun, helpful, instant friends, check. Cute pets and farm animals, check. Charming village with fetes and parades, che ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of those novels were when you beginning reading it, you will be hard pressed to stop. The wit and clever nature of the author are quite apparent even early on in this book and it makes for a delightful read.

I enjoyed the plot, the characters and the overall story very much, but what made me want to keep turning pages the most, was the relationship between the main character and her children. There were so many times during this novel that I laughed out loud and nodded my head in agr
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Four stars reduced to three***.

This was a fun, light, very British-cottagey story, light on plot and heavy on a menagerie of characters. Although I had a difficult time keeping the many quirky folks who wandered in and out of Harrington Hall straight at times, I did enjoy the funny narrator, Molly, with her many quips, asides, and sincere ways. I also liked Uncle Bertie, and all his cocktails. And his parrot, Betty, who could be rude but was also hilarious. Overall, this was a feel-good tale of
Katherine Jones
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Not many novels can actually make me laugh out loud, but this one did. Molly makes a delightfully human, overwhelmed heroine that harried moms on both sides of the Atlantic will happily relate to. Add to this a whimsically quirky cast of characters and a charming country setting, and a bit o’ magic ensues. Particularly when young Alfie comes on the scene. Oh my. Or Betty, the parrot. Oh, and I positively adored the gregarious and opinionated Lola, who made the most appealing BFF I think I’ve enc ...more
A very nice light (despite the length) book about a woman taking on what most people would view as an insurmountable money-pit of a honest-to-goodness ancestral family home, complete with traditional rose gardens, leaking roofs, and a profane parrot. Oh, and a cannon.

I really liked Molly throughout the entire book, especially whenever she put her foot down and stood up for herself against some of the pushier characters. I found the male "antagonists" (view spoiler)
Felt like I was visiting with a best friend. Absolutely loved this book!
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Good Year for Roses is by Gil McNeil. It is a very good novel about overcoming odds. The characters are realistic and believable. The plot is very simple and yet makes for a very good novel. Again it is one you can’t put down. I love the information about roses which precedes each chapter.
Molly Taylor is having to deal with a divorce from a wandering husband, the death of her aunt, the sale of her house so she can pay her husband half of the profit, working, and raising three sons without the
Sandi Fiolka
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Picked up this book at a community book sale.
It was a super easy read! Although, there were wayyyyy to many characters! At times it was difficult to keep track of who was who!

It's a nice light, summer read
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Now, I can't say that it was very exciting. But for someone who loves gardening, old houses, and the English countryside, it was just a lovely experience. I read it on a cruise ship and found myself wanting to skip activities so that I could read more and immerse myself in this charming story.
Chris Conley
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a charming, delightful book this is. In some ways it could have been a typical story of a recently-divorced mother and her struggles. But the author did not do anything typical. The story is fun, interesting and a lovely picture of how to make lemonade out of lemons.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gil McNeil is an author I have always enjoyed! I count The Only Boy For Me as one of my favourite Chick Lit reads of all time, and I've always enjoyed her work. So I was super pleased to see her new novel A Good Year For The Roses on Netgalley - I wasn't sure Gil was writing books any more, so it was a very nice surprise to see she was! I was pre-approved for the title (always a joy to not have that anxious will I be approved or not? wait) so downloaded it to my Kindle straight away and I couldn ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
A divorced mother of three, Molly is struggling to support her boys and find a new home. When her adored Aunt dies and leaves her a 300 year old manor house, Molly is shocked and surprised. But, the thought of returning to her childhood hometown is intriguing and Molly soon finds herself settled on the Devon coast in Harrington Hall.

With three lively boys, a dysfunctional family and quirky friends and relatives, there is no loss of charm and drama at Harrington. But, as she settles in, Molly soo
Anne Wolfe
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Good Year for the Roses is a book that contains all of my favorite ingredients for a delicious read...Spunky heroine, bad divorce from rotter husband, adorable children, country manor houses and gardens and endless cups of tea. As a matter of fact, if I had a dollar (or pound) for every cuppa made in the text, I could afford a week-end at the Devon Bed and Breakfast run by Molly Taylor.

It happens to follow a formula I really enjoy and I recommend this novel to anyone who feels the same way. It
Lori Wilen
Nov 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I love Gil McNeil but for some reason this book bored me. I couldn't get into the story at all. There seemed to be pages of narrative that didn't need to be there. I think the story could have been told in a lighter fashion in 240 pages than a long drawn out story in 370 plus. I hated rating it so poorly but for me it just didn't work at all. The characters were not too appealing ....I don't know what it was about them but sorry Gil I will read others of yours. You have worked for me in the past ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lovely bit of wish fulfillment and more of what Gil McNeil does so well. Harried mum, adorably rambunctious boy children, eccentric older relatives, lots of good intentions well-rewarded, and come-uppance for the snooty side characters...and in this case, a lucky inheritance in a country house. Pure frivolity but fun. McNeil's ear for dialogue is spot-on and makes for a endearing and entertaining read...puts it one notch above the others in the genre.
Aug 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-for-me
Fabulous set-up utterly ruined by a dull, pointless plot and frankly blah cast of characters. However the cover is beautiful. Which makes it harder..such a lovely book to be so dreary inside.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
(3.5 stars) Molly’s family has been the hotel business for years, but she has never felt comfortable with the way her brother and father have managed the business. Being a recent single mother of 3 boys, she is shocked to find out that her Aunt Helen has left her Harrington Hall in Devon. She decides to take the leap and move the family out of London, working on turning the property into holiday rentals, starting with expanding the existing bed and breakfast. In addition to the property, she als ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I saw this on the shelf at the library and was glad to see it, I have been waiting to find another one of her books for awhile! This was really good. I loved the characters, really liked Molly and her family. Her boys were cute, even Dan the teenager. It was nice to see her mom finally stand up to her dad and brother. I was worried at the end that Molly was going to be pregnant, but happily she just embarked on a relationship with Eddie. I wouldn't mind a sequel to see how this one turned out.
Peggy L. McCarthy
I fall in love with all McNeil's characters and I just want to spend more time with them.

McNeil's character are delightful as always and I just want to hang out with them. Sassy, strong women whose journeys take them on a trip of rediscovery ending with an appreciation of who they really were all along.
Shannon Teper
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-novels
Not a fast-paced action-packed book, but such a pleasure to spend a year in this lovely setting with these characters. I wish I had been half as good a mother as the main character Molly managed to be! It was a hopeful and uplifting book that made you feel a little better about life and its possibilities.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
love the British humor! Single mother of 3 boys inherits manor which she turns into a B&B with the help of her Uncle Bertie ( a few sandwiches short of a picnic) who shots off cannon, swearing parrot, controlling housekeeper and gardener, muddy boys who love bacon and her fashionista friend from London. She finds herself and blooms along with her garden and maybe finds love. ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, it felt like it would be adapted by BBC or ITV as a miniseries. The pacing at times was a bit rushed but I forgive it because I love stories about women forming a brand new life after a major life event/setback.
Irene D
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a light refreshing read, well written and humorous. As a mother of boys I could relate to her incessant threats and bribes although they were delightful children. A feel good finish left me wanting more!
Amy Smith
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: entertaining
A feel-good novel about a newly divorced woman finding her footing while starting a b&b on the Devon coast. Put up your feet, brew a pot of tea, and cheer on Molly as she handles her ex, a rose garden, her two teen sons, and of course lovely old Uncle Bertie. ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not for me. I love the inheritance trope, but nothing happens in this book. Seemed the author was going for a Maeve Binchy type vibe, but lacked the plot and depth. Just wanted a fun, fluffy read but it was deadly dull.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
The characters were slightly annoying and the plot was borderline boring. There were aspects that were semi enjoyable but I never felt compelled to sit down and read it, and in fact, I found it difficult to muddle through. I gave up after around 70 pages.
Sherry Kasper
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I am a knitter, so I read books by Gil McNeil that including knitting in the store. I enjoyed them all immensely. I love her characters -- they are real and funny people. But the story just seemed to drag on in this book -- she included details and plot lines that did not seem necessary.
Victoria A Pountney
Fab read

Real page Turner loved it from start to finish
Real feel good read and made my chuckle at times too
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Funny, funny, funny. Great characters, descriptions, story line. Anyone who doesn't like this entertaining book, needs a hug!
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I kept waiting for more of a story, but it never came. I thought it was okay.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Casting Off
  • Quentins
  • The Secret Lives of Dresses
  • Checked Out (The Village Library Mysteries, #1)
  • The Cat Who Moved a Mountain (Cat Who... #13)
  • Digging Up the Remains
  • Readers Digest Select Edition - The King of Torts / A Week in Winter / The Last Detective / Eat Cake
  • The Shape of the Beast: Conversations with Arundhati Roy
  • Snowflakes in the Wind
  • Cat Me If You Can (Cat in the Stacks Mystery #13)
  • Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery, #5)
  • Icepick in the Ivy (Lovely Lethal Gardens #9)
  • The Gift of Happiness
  • Murder in a Scottish Shire (A Scottish Shire Mystery, #1)
  • The Summer House
  • The Garden of Small Beginnings
  • Two Truths and a Lie
  • The Secret of Pembrooke Park
See similar books…
Gil McNeil is the author of the bestselling The Only Boy for Me, Stand By Your Man, In The Wee Small Hours and most recently Divas Don’t Knit. The Only Boy For Me has been made into a major ITV prime-time drama starring Helen Baxendale and was broadcast in 2007. Gil McNeil has edited five collections of stories with Sarah Brown, and is Director of the charity PiggyBankKids, which supports projects ...more

News & Interviews

Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? And has this, uh, unprecedented year gotten completely in the way of...
25 likes · 12 comments