When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it’s time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realises there’s an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbour Tom…
But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, and the possibility of love, the discovery of a long-hidden diary, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. Who is Violet and what is her message for Kitty? As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream and blossoming relationship fall to pieces? When it comes to life in the country, nothing is ever quite as it seems …
A heart warming, moving and funny tale, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley and Cathy Bramley.
Having never read anything by Christie Barlow before, I will admit that this book sold itself to me purely on the cover and it’s tagline of being a feel good romantic comedy about life, love and family.
When Kitty inherits a flat, and BlueBell Lodge from a grandmother she never knew (and had grown up assuming was dead) life takes a turn she could never have imagined. The flat comes with Alfie the cat, while Bluebell Lodge turns out to be a working free range chicken farm complete with a handsome farm manager called Tom. It’s a steep learning curve for Kitty as she gets to grips with the farm, makes new friends, aims to juggle her feelings for Tom and his rival Robin while coping with the recent loss of her mother and the mystery surrounding her grandmother. The discovery of a diary written by the mysterious Violet answers some of the questions about Kitty’s family history, but it also opens up a whole can of worms that have consequences for her current situation.
This is a lovely book, that really does live up to it’s billing as a feel good romantic comedy. Kitty really works as a character, she is occasionally a bit ditsy, but is so warm, friendly and lovable that you’re willing everything to work out for her. Tom is the handsome neighbour we’d all love to have, but he also has a strength and depth that lifts his role above being a mere superficial distraction. The other characters are also warm and supportive so that when things take a darker turn for Kitty she really discovers the value of friendship and family.
The story that unfolds regarding Kitty’s family, raises the bar to make this so much more than just the chick lit/romance that the cover might imply and adds a depth and a mystery that is both engaging and heartbreaking.
I have no problem in recommending this book, it’s a great story to curl up and settle down with. This is due for publication on 25th February.
I received an advance review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.