The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks by Julie Valerie #BookReview #VillageofPrimm2 #LakeUnionPublishing #NetGalley #4*

A wife, mother, and aspiring filmmaker clings to the pursuit of perfection only to have fate play with every plan she’s made in this quirky, contemplative, and empowering novel.

Holly Banks is on a desperate mission to have it all, but nothing in life goes according to plan. She’s quickly learning that keeping up with the Joneses is a full-time job, especially when the women of Primm, her new neighborhood, seem to have it together all the time.

With her husband’s job in flux, her daughter’s difficulty with learning to read, and her mother’s new zest for dating, Holly’s life is already anything but picture perfect. Then her dog digs up an old artifact in the village center, and the mishap draws the attention of local media. Because of course it would.

Holly finds herself at the center of a mystery between two rival towns that, if solved, could change the Village of Primm forever. Attention is the last thing she needs as she’s launching a new business, the village-wide “Parade of Homes” is approaching—though she’s hardly unpacked—and she needs to submit her entry for an upcoming film festival.

Can Holly still create her perfect (looking) life? Or is fate about to go off script and give her a story she never could have imagined?

Village of Primm series

Book 1 – Holly Banks Full of Angst

Book 2 – The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks

Plenty Going On!

Time to confess that I’ve had the first of this series for some time, but haven’t found space to slot it into my list, so I was rather excited to have this second one to read!

Holly, Jake and Ella – with Greta in tow – are beginning to realist that living in Primm isn’t as straightforward as they expected. Keeping up with the Jones’ would be so much simpler than keeping up with the expectations of the other residents! On a personal note, Holly wants to get a film business up and running; with Ella struggling with her reading, Greta on the dating scene once more and Jake frowning at every expenditure she could do without being dragged into local events at every turn.

I found myself in awe of Holly’s ambitions – my husband would act very much like her’s and kick against all the ‘must have’ conversations. I was disappointed that, although these are touted as stand-alone reads, such a lot of the content of the first novel was replayed here and I won’t now read that one – well, not for a very long time. For me – and this will come as no surprise to those who know me – Struggle the dog was the most amazing addition and brought so much fun to the story! This is a good read, with plenty going on; a wide range of characters and plenty happening. I must mention the brilliant cover – how good is that? After much consideration I’ve settled on four stars for this one.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: women’s humorous fiction

Author Bio

Julie Valerie, an avid Scrabble player who once played QWERTY on a triple word, writes humorous women’s fiction and is developing a series set in the idyllic Village of Primm.

She is the founder of the 85K Writing Challenge, providing writers an enriching environment in which to pen 85,000 words in 90 days, supported by a full calendar of writing support. Julie also serves on the board of directors for James River Writers, a multi-faceted non-profit organization based in Richmond, Virginia, that serves as central Virginia’s literary hub. A voracious reader, Julie has reviewed 200+ books in her genre and won the BookSparks 2015 Summer Reading Challenge Grand Prize.

Deepening her love of the written word, Julie earned an editing certificate from the University of Chicago Graham School and is constantly humbled by the nuances of language and the nitty-gritty of grammar while strengthening her proficiencies in the Chicago Manual of Style. With a master’s degree in education and a certification in wilderness first aid, Julie enjoys reading, the study of wine, section hiking the Appalachian Trail, and travel.

Writing amid the mayhem and merriment of her motley crew, Julie is married to her college sweetheart, has four children (two girls, two boys) and two English Labradors (one yellow, one chocolate).

World rights to Julie Valerie’s debut novel, Holly Banks Full of Angst, the first book in her Village of Primm series, were sold in a two-book deal by her literary agent, Joëlle Delbourgo, to Lake Union Publishing, a commercial women’s fiction imprint of Amazon Publishing that specializes in book club fiction. Holly Banks Full of Angst was published December 1, 2019. The second novel in the series, The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks is scheduled for release November 24, 2020. Both books in the Village of Primm series feature continuing characters and can be read sequentially or as separate, independent, standalone novels.

Social Media


Twitter: @Julie_Valerie

Facebook: @JulieValerieAuthor

Instagram: @julievalerieauthor


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