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Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Marnie just wants to be loved, but finding the right person lands her in the most terrible situations. She doesn't have much luck when it comes to family, boyfriends and friendships, but Lillian is different. When Marnie meets Lillian online she finally forms a friendship that's equal and beneficial to both. Lillian is a little older than Marnie, but they get along fabulously. When one of Marnie's relationships turns into a huge disaster Marnie needs a place to stay. Lillian offers her a cottage and Marnie finally finds the sanctuary she's been looking for.

Being in Wychwell heals Marnie's heart, she can finally bake all the cakes she likes and spending time with Lillian is precious. The place might look idyllic, but Marnie knows not everyone is friendly and welcoming. She thinks being in Wychwell is only temporary, but Marnie's sense of duty binds her to the place in an inevitable way. There's no going back and Marnie has to get to know who she is and learn to stand up for herself as quickly as she can, so she will survive the next round of catastrophes in her life. Maybe, if she succeeds, she will even find happiness this time.

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is a wonderful heartwarming story. I fell in love with this book from the start. It's so sweet and original. Marnie is a kindhearted woman, but she's also a bit naive. She's longing to be loved and this sometimes makes her blind to the truth. Milly Johnson describes her feelings in a fantastic understanding way and it was impossible not to like Marnie even if she sometimes doesn't make the most wise decisions. She has a lot of growing up to do and meeting Lillian changes her life for the better. Lillian is generous and loving and she's exactly the person Marnie needs in her life. They're both giving and have big hearts, which makes their friendship incredibly special.

Milly Johnson has chosen a gorgeous setting for her story. Wychwell is intriguing and stunning. I love how Milly Johnson's colorful descriptions are making it come to life in a fantastic way. It's the ideal place for a story filled with charm, mystery and kindness. Lillian is fabulously quirky and she perfectly fits into her surroundings. Marnie has finally found a place she belongs and slowly the beautiful person she is fully comes to the surface. I loved Milly Johnson's delicious descriptions of Marnie's cakes and I enjoyed the warm and emphatic way she writes about her main characters. I love how creative her stories are and think The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is a true gem. I highly recommend this brilliant feelgood book that put a huge smile on my face.


If you love original heartwarming stories The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is an absolute must-read.

About Milly Johnson

Hello. My name is Milly Johnson and I’m a novelist, poet, after-dinner speaker, professional joke writer, columnist, cruise correspondent, short-story writer, winner of Come Dine With Me – and I pop up on the telly sometimes.

I come from Barnsley in South Yorkshire where I’ve lived all my life – apart from a few years at University in Exeter doing Drama and Haworth in West Yorkshire, where I went hoping to catch some Bronte writing magic. BUT I am a half-Scot. My mum and her clan are from Glasgow.

I used to teach, trained for a while as an accountant, worked in sales, offices, mills, and a suggestion scheme. I’ve sold cruises (although I was sacked for ‘having an accent better suited to the textile industry’) and was a professional greetings card copywriter for many years along with the best friends you’ll ever find. My first job was ghost-writing for Purple Ronnie when it first hit the scene in the 1980s.

I gave it my last and final big shot to break into books when I hit 40 and did it and haven’t looked back. I love what I do and I hope that comes through.

I live with my partner, my teenage sons and cats around the corner from my mam and dad in the centre of Barnsley.

I’m a regular on the MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER circuit and can tailor make a speech to your requirements. No audience too large… please contact me for details or via The Women’s Speakers agency.


Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest

The Story Behind the Story
Guest post by Milly Johnson

My inspiration for my new book ‘The Perfectly Imperfect Woman’ came from a newspaper story which my friend sent me. ‘Look at this,’ she announced excitedly. ‘A whole village for sale.’ There was a full page spread about a village called West Heslerton in the Yorkshire Dales, indeed up for sale for twenty million pounds. The previous owner had died and she owned all the properties which paid a much-reduced rent to her. There was even a crumbly manor house thrown in for your money. One of those cases where fact seems more fiction than fiction. I deliberately didn’t go and see it until I’d finished the book because I had a vision of what I wanted my village to look like and I didn’t want it tainted. I built my village - Wychwell - brick by brick in my head. Weirdly it’s so real, it’s almost as if I’ve visited it and it’s a memory.

My mind took a stick of the facts and wove a candy floss of plot around it. It started off as a love story, but the more I wrote, the more the romance between my heroine and the hero was sidelined, which is quite odd for my books. The real love story in this one is between a doddery old lady and a young mixed up one finding acceptance in and joy with each other. And I reckon this is the most complicated plot I’ve ever done. I do enjoy reading a good mystery. I want all those loose threads to be tied up in neat bows and I hate having to make up my own ending because a writer wants me to take the mantle from him. I want answers given to me on a plate! So I had a great deal of fun with this one, introducing lots of those loose threads into the tapestry of the book and wondering if my readers will be able to guess to which other thread they should be attached. Maybe it’s mischief. Maybe it’s a little raspberry at those who say they can guess what happens by page two. Maybe I wanted to say: ‘not in this book you won’t mate.’

The main theme of this book is imperfection – hence the title. That really it’s okay to have made mistakes, have flaws and not be perfect, because it’s the imperfections that give you character and charm. It’s what attracts people to you. We all worry that our legs aren’t long enough, that we’ve said the wrong thing, done something stupid. We hold ourselves up to perfection and find us sadly lacking. Some people need to stop beating themselves up and start patting themselves on the back instead. We should be more accepting of ourselves. We should all look in the mirror once in a while and say to that person staring back at us… ‘You’re actually okay. I quite like you. You have flaws – natch, who doesn’t? And guess what, you’re more awesome with them, than you would be without them.’

I do hope people like this book. I hope they love the village and its people and they buy into the mystery of it and try and work out what is going on. I hope they are cheering for my heroine to get what she deserves. I hope I affect my readers, give them some chuckles and bring the tears to their eyes in the parts that made my eyes mist when I wrote them. I hope I make them hungry for cheesecake. But most of all, I hope that I make them realise that perfection is totally overrated and that it’s far more fun and attractive to be flawsome.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The Perfectly Imperfect Woman sounds like a delicious, romantic, funny, inspiring story with richly woven characters and an idyllic setting.

  2. Sounds like a delightful tale set in a charming locale!

  3. This looks like a lovely book. Would love to win it for my Mum who reads a lot.

  4. Who wants to be perfect anyway? ;-) This sounds like a wonderfully heartwarming book, plus the cover design is so lovely too.

  5. looks like a rich and fulfilling read, really interested in getting into this with a coffee on my comfy sofa!

  6. I have yet to meet a perfect person and this sounds like a lovely novel with an interesting

  7. Love the cover sounds good can't wait to read this.

  8. Milly Johnson Covers are always so great! :)
    Thank you for the great review and lovely guest post :)

  9. Sounds great and looks lovely. I'd love to read it.

  10. Looking forward to reading this book. Love the cover.

  11. What a fabulous title! I wanted to read the book, even before reading the description. The cover is great too. I predict a big success. :)

  12. I love books where the setting is so real & such an important part of the story.

  13. I will add this book to my TBR, it sounds great!

  14. I love not being able to guess at the ending!

  15. I love Milly Johnson. I have read only two of her books but I want to read all of them, and I hope I will this year, or at least that I'll read most of them this year. It's a good thing she already published many of them, and I just love her writing style!!

  16. Oh this sounds so good! I cannot wait to read! Love the cover!

  17. It sounds like there are some fab characters in this book!

  18. This sounds a thoroughly enjoyable book

  19. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  20. Sounds a lovely joyful mix of cheesecake, laughs, loves and friendship with a few Yorkshireisms you usually get from Milly. Can't wait to read it.

  21. A lovely guest post and I loved reading where the idea of your novel came from. Of course I had to check out whether the village had been sold and discovered that it had, a year after it went on the market. I liked the way writing the book even surprised you yourself, by the direction it took. I don't think that anyone is perfect, everyone has their own quirks.