Review of The Cottage by Gerri Hill, Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
Gerri Hill has such an extensive back catalogue that she’s often releasing new audiobooks to the glee of her readers. Bonus points for choosing narrator Abby Craden for many of them, such as in this case. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I enjoy this one as much as others of the Hill/Craden partnership.
Jill and Carrie are two married women with teenage children who meet by chance and forge a close friendship. As time goes by, they realise that they are attracted to each other and that the pull is stronger than their marriages and families…
This is a bit of an atypical work for Gerri Hill and I feel like I need to give some warning to potential readers/listeners. First of all, it’s a novella and secondly, it’s not a typical romance. Even though there is a romantic liaison, I would put this book more in the literary fiction category. To avoid disappointment don’t expect the typical traits of romance and the satisfaction that comes with it. This book will probably break your heart.
I have to also warn readers about a potential trigger in the form of infidelity. The characters are morally grey, far from perfect and virtuous. Their hesitations and doubts make them more real but, at the same time, less relatable and likeable. Also, maybe because of the short length of the story, the mains chemistry was lacking.
As usual in Ms. Hill’s work, nature and the outdoors is very present as the background to the story, though, maybe because of its short length, not extensively. The secondary characters feel a bit flat and stereotyped as well. The ending feels a bit rushed too and some parts on the unrealistic side.
Thanks to her usual talented narration, Abby Craden makes the story much better but it’s still not enough to make it more than average. As always, her voices are distinct and her performance of the emotions is fantastic but there’s so much a narrator can do with the written text. If you are new to Gerri Hill’s audiobooks, I would start elsewhere. 3.5 stars.
Length: 4 hrs and 2 mins