I had never heard of the author of Bad Girl Creek, Jo-Ann Mapson, until this book was given to me. She is, apparently, quite a popular writer and at least one of her books has been made into a TV movie.
Bad Girl Creek is set in coastal California, in a fictional town which seems to be located on the Monterey Peninsula, very likely Carmel. The setting is lovely and idyllic. There are beautiful homes and cottages by the sea. Most of the action takes place on a flower farm which Phoebe DeThomas has inherited from her aunt. Phoebe is confined to a wheelchair and is unable to run the farm alone. She takes in three roommates and their animals (a horse, a dog, and a parrot). They all agree to pay rent and work on the farm, in exchange for future profits.
The roommates come with difficult and very different backgrounds. The story is told through the perspective of each of the women, and is further divided into sections by the seasons. The women bond as the months pass. There are, of course, complications, including health scares and problematic relationships with men.
I found the writing to be a bit stilted. There were a number of grammatical issues (aren’t there copy editors?) which really annoyed me. Although the set-up and the characters seemed original, the plot developed in a rather predictable manner. However, it was a decent effort, and fine to read when I was not in the mood for a challenge. As an aside, Mapson seems to be friends with Earlene Fowler, and one of her books is referenced in Bad Girl Creek.
Published in hardcover-Simon & Schuster 2001
Softcover edition-Simon & Schuster 2002