“A Spring Affair” by Milly Johnson – how clearing up and throwing out can change your life

Milly Johnson has written four novels all related to the seasons of which A Spring Affair is the first and, in my opinion, the best. They are not linked by characters although they are set in the same place. This author often brings back characters from previous books as minor figures in newer ones which is quite nice if you have read many of her novels and doesn’t matter at all if you don’t know the character’s history. Her books tend to be set in and around Barnsley or somewhere which greatly resembles the town, although this is not always the case.

A Spring Affair is the story of Lou. Lou is being ignored, taken advantage of, and picked on by her family, her so-called friends, and her husband. She has been taken for granted so much that she has lost all sense of herself. She realises this, in an abstract way, but then she reads a magazine article about decluttering and it changes her life. As Lou starts to clear out her house she begins to realise what she wants and, more importantly, what she doesn’t want – and then there is the attractive man who delivers her skip ….

It’s not often that you read a light and amusing novel like this that makes you want to take action in your own life. Lou’s success with decluttering is very attractive and also very realistic. I am sure that tidying up my home and disposing of unwanted items cannot really change my life but when I read this book I could definitely see how it just might.

The author succeeds here in making Lou an attractive and interesting character despite the fact that she is downtrodden and sidelined. You can see how her generous nature and her willingness to help others has got her into some positions. Her husband, who is a rat of the first order, is still a believable character and parts of the novel are told from his point of view so that we can see the situation from both sides. Tom, the skip man, is perhaps a little too perfect but he is an excellent support to Lou.

This is a story about taking control of your life in all ways – getting rid of what isn’t helpful and concentrating on the good. It is a life-affirming novel as you cheer for Lou all the way through the book. I really think that this is an excellent story and enormous fun to read – one of the best “women’s fiction” books that I have enjoyed.

Other season themed books in this loose series are : A Summer Fling, An Autumn Crush and A Winter Flame but I do recommend any of her books.

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