Monday, August 12, 2013

Finding Colin Firth by Mia March

Mia March, the author who set her enchanting novel The Meryl Streep Movie Club in a charming inn in
Boothbay Harbor, Maine, takes readers back to that town in Finding Colin Firth. Once again, there is Friday Movie Night at Three Captains' Inn, but the inn and its owners are not the main characters this time around. Instead, the novel focus on three women who end up in Boothbay Harbor looking for answers.

Bea Cross is twenty-two, an unemployed English teacher working in a restaurant kitchen when she receives an unexpected letter from her mother. Bea's mother has been dead for a year, but she never had the courage to reveal her secret to her daughter while she was alive. Bea was adopted as a newborn, adopted from the hospital in Boothbay Harbor.

Veronica Russo has only been back in town for a year, but she's already attracting attention to the Best Little Diner in Boothbay. Veronica makes pies that "heal", pies that are comfort food that seem to provide answers, to build confidence, to provide hope, her elixir pies. And, even though she's teaching a class in pie-making to five lucky students, Veronica hasn't found comfort herself. Despite wandering the country for years after everyone she loved seemed to cast her out of town after her teenage pregnancy, Veronica has challenged herself to return home.

Then there's Gemma Hendricks, a woman who loves her husband, but also loves her career as a reporter. It's all she's ever wanted in life, and can't imagine settling down to be a mother, as her husband wants. She loses her job and learns she's pregnant just before visiting her friend, June, at Three Captains' Inn. Boothbay Harbor provides a refuge for Gemma so she can ponder her future while taking on an assignment for the local newspaper. Gemma's to write a feature about Hope Home, the home for pregnant teens that is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.

As each of these women come to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, a film crew also arrives, with rumors that Colin Firth will be filming there soon. The rumors, the film crew, and the image of Colin Firth serve as a backdrop to a warm story that says love isn't always about a man and romance. Sometimes love comes from unexpected directions.

Why do I enjoy Mia March's Maine novels? The setting is charming, but the problems are realistic. March's characters have to search for answers in their lives, and it's not always easy. She shows people torn by their decisions and their actions. At the same time, the stories are playful. Friday Movie Night isn't quite as important in this novel, but how many women can resist Colin Firth movie night? How many of us understand when Veronica's feelings when she lightheartedly says she's holding out for a man like Colin Firth? "I realize he's an actor playing roles, but I get it...Honest. Full of integrity. Conviction. Brimming with intelligence. Loyal. You just believe everything he says with that British accent of his - and can trust it."

March's Finding Colin Firth is warm, honest, and has a touch of Sarah Addison Allen's magic. It's a perfect summer read. (And rumors of Colin Firth certainly don't hurt.)

Mia March's website is

Finding Colin Firth by Mia March. Gallery Books. 2013. ISBN 9781476710204 (paperback), 318p.

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