Saturday, April 30, 2016

Kitty's Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

4 Star

New home. New life. New beginning. Love affairs can blossom in the most unlikely places . . . 
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 … 

Kathryn - 4 Star

I found this novel a little tricky for the first 20 or so pages. Not sure why but it was presented in a way that didn’t pull me in right off the bat. However, that was only at first because I soon got into the story and was so enamoured by the characters and their lives that I was hooked.

Something about Kitty though gave me the impression she was quite na├»ve and not very with the times initially but she soon morphed into someone else. It also wasn’t always clear if we were set in the 1980’s or 90’s or if it was supposed to be set today?  The dates in the diary would have led me to believe we were mid 80’s but some of the things that were said and done in the novel seemed much more current. Perhaps this was just me but I found it a bit confusing.

Having said all that I was very much interested in the story, there were mysteries to unravel and people to connect. The plot moved really well and didn’t leave anything unsettled! I loved the chicken farm and all aspects of the farming we were treated too during the novel and was enchanted by the village. I also liked the way her relationship with her parents was described and the way their story was weaved into the novel. I was surprised by the ending, had imagined various possible scenes but didn’t quite imagine the ending.

Thank you to Bookouture for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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