I've read many books by Rosie Thomas and thoroughly enjoyed them - all very different though, but all remarkably well researched. I enjoyed A Simple Life too, but not one of my favourites by her. I found it a little implausible in parts and somewhat predictable. I bought it on the basis of rave reviews by other readers, so was slightly disappointed. However, if you're looking for a good read, which is not too taxing, then this will be good for you. Maybe a good one to put in a suitcase to read on the beach.