Author: Cathy Woodman
Publisher: Arrow Books
Type of book: Farming, 2000s, life changes, United Kingdom, city life vs rural life, family, relationships, friendships
Year it was published: 2013
Successful city accountant Stevie receives two surprises in one week: a proposal of marriage from her boyfriend Nick and a phone call begging her to return to the family farm in Devon to help out after her father has a stroke.
But what she thought would be a long weekend in the country turns into much longer as she struggles to bring order to her father’s rundown farm. Finally, she decides to give up her job – and her fiance – and take on the farm permanently. She dreams of turning it into a tourist attraction, never realising it would be so difficult. But with the help of many of Talyton St George’s local residents, and the local vet Leon, she is starting to make progress.
Until a life-changing complication throws all her plans into disarray, and destroys her growing romance with Leon…
There were a lot of characters such as Stevie, short for Stephanie whom I had trouble understanding, at least when it came to her choice of Nick versus Leon. She is stubborn, headstrong, knowledgeable as well as resentful. She and her father have a strained relationship in beginning. There is also Leo who is afraid of facing his own fears although he's loyal and supportive of Stevie. There is also Stevie's father who is heartbroken, stubborn and has a broken relationship with his children as well as Guy and Jennie (the couple featured in The Sweetest Thing,) Guy tends to be conservative and a bit cold, but he loves his newfound family, while Jennie is sweet and becomes one of Stevie's friends.
Life is unexpected
Its written in first person narrative from Stevie's point of view and I found the characters and the farmer's life to be fascinating. What I did have problem with is that I couldn't understand nor relate to Stevie's motivations and desires. I liked that Stevie and Leo take their time in getting to know one another, but the ending seemed to be very rushed and I had a difficult time understanding why Stevie didn't like her boyfriend Nick. I kind of get that sometimes a guy is super nice and sweet but the girl doesn't have physical attraction to him, but in literature I would want to see why she doesn't have attraction towards him. In fact, I liked Nick a bit better than Leon. The ending resolutions were very rushed and were sudden, for me anyways.
(From TLC website)
Cathy Woodman began her working life as a small animal vet before turning to writing fiction. In 2002 she won the Harry Bowling First Novel Award and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She is also a sessional lecturer in Animal Management at a local college for land-based industries.
Her books center around the Otter House Vets, a practice set in Talyton St George, a fictional market town in East Devon (where Cathy lived as a child). Cathy now lives with her husband, two children, two ponies, three exuberant Border Terriers and two cats in a village near Winchester, Hampshire.
For more information on Cathy Woodman and her work, visit GREAT BRITISH READS.
While the book is British, its unique in that the story is understandable and isn't alienating at all. I only had trouble understanding a few words such as weelies, flat or nappies but other than that the book might have taken place in America with American characters. I also think this is a sequel to The Sweetest Thing, thus I'd say to read The Sweetest Thing first before this one. Besides the lack of alienation that has impressed me, I also was impressed that former characters have played a huge role in the book and weren't just there to be there. Guy and his wife are there influencing the story and the decisions that Stevie has to make. The dialogue is catchy and easy to read and the life of a farmer is pretty fascinating in my opinion.
This is for TLC Book Tour
Cathy Woodman’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, December 2nd: No More Grumpy Bookseller – Country Loving
Tuesday, December 3rd: Svetlana’s Reads and Views - Country Loving
Wednesday, December 4th: A Chick Who Reads – The Sweetest Thing
Thursday, December 5th: Book Club Classics! - The Sweetest Thing
Thursday, December 5th: Joyfully Retired - Country Loving
Friday, December 6th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom - The Sweetest Thing
Monday, December 9th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views - The Sweetest Thing
Tuesday, December 10th: A Bookish Way of Life - Country Loving
Wednesday, December 11th: Peeking Between the Pages - The Sweetest Thing
Wednesday, December 11th - A Bookish Affair - Country Loving and The Sweetest Thing
Thursday, December 12th: Reviews from the Heart - Country Loving
Friday, December 13th: Not in Jersey - Country Loving
Monday, December 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller - The Sweetest Thing
Tuesday, December 17th: BookNAround – Country Loving and The Sweetest Thing
Wednesday, December 18th: Good Girl Gone Redneck - Country Loving and The Sweetest Thing
Wednesday, December 18th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - The Sweetest Thing
Thursday, December 19th: Knowing the Difference - The Sweetest Thing
Friday, December 20th: Peeking Between the Pages - Country Loving
Monday, December 23rd – A Chick Who Reads - Country Loving
Thursday, December 26th: Reading Reality - The Sweetest Thing
Friday, December 27th: Reviews from the Heart - The Sweetest Thing4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)