Friday, December 23, 2011

Carrie Goes Off the Map by Phillipa Ashley

Carrie Goes Off the Map is a very enjoyable road trip novel through England. Carrie is two weeks away from marrying her long-time boyfriend Huw, when he drops a bombshell; he is breaking up with her. Carrie had put aside her own dreams of becoming an actress for Huw and had spent the years since graduating from college helping Huw run his family dairy farm.

Suddenly, without a purpose in life, Carrie moves in with her friend Rowena and tries to determine what her next move will be. Rowena tries to cheer Carrie up by planning a European road trip in a vintage VW camper named Dolly. Unfortunately, Rowena is unable to go at the last minute and has found a new companion for Carrie, the handsome Dr. Matt Landor.

Matt is back from his work in Tuman after an unfortunate accident. Commanded to take four months off to rest and get himself back together, he is not sure what he is going to do with his time off. Matt was friends with Huw back at the University, and after meeting Carrie again at a bad moment (it’s a classic moment in the book, I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t read it yet!) he is officially intrigued. Together they go on a tour of Southern England and learn how to move on with life. And also learn more about each other.

I really enjoyed this book. At one point, a barber cuts Matt’s hair and says that he looks like a modern Mr. Darcy. There were indeed elements of that classic story in this book with Carrie and Matt meeting again after so many years and having a misunderstanding that sets the two at odds at first. Carrie was much more against Matt than he is against her. Their delightful friction kept me entranced throughout the book.

I also loved the description of the road trip in the campervan. It sounded like a lot of fun. Phillipa Ashley wrote a great guest post for this blog describing her travels in a campervan as part of the research process for this novel. The post is intriguing and if you leave a comment by midnight tonight, you have a chance to win a copy of this great book!

I also really liked an odd thing too, that Huw was a dairy farmer. The descriptions of the mega farm and life on the farm reminded me a lot of life around Wisconsin, aka Dairyland USA. It made me realize that things really are not that different between the United States and England. It was funny that Huw was considered quite a catch as he was a rich farmer, which is the same as some of the farmers in my county who are millionaires. Family farms are not the same as they used to be anywhere anymore it seems.

Overall, I found Carrie Goes Off the Map to be a delightful book with great characters, romance, and a wonderful journey. Phillipa Ashley has become one of my new favorite contemporary romance authors.

Book Source: Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!


  1. This book sounds like a winner! I didn't request it for review because I had too many books and now I regret it.

  2. This sounds like a very enjoyable story, Laura. Merry Christmas to you and your family! :)

  3. This book with it's classical theme elements sounds really good.

    Thanks for the review!