Thursday, 23 October 2014

Beneath the Moon and Stars - Amelia Thorne

About the book...
Home, sweet home…
Joy Cartier has been to some of the most beautiful places in the world – but none of them have ever felt like home. So moving into a tiny cottage in the idyllic village of Bramble Hill, walking distance from her childhood home, seems like the perfect plan.
That is, until she gets there. The surly inhabitants of Britain’s Friendliest Village are anything but welcoming. Even her neighbour, reclusive Hollywood star Finn Mackenzie, takes one look at her and walks in the other direction.

But when the village animosity steps up a gear, it is the infuriatingly brooding Finn who keeps coming to her rescue. Slowly Joy begins to realise that maybe a happy home isn’t about where you live, but who you’re with…

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review something I’m more than happy to do.

Firstly, lets talk about the cover for Beneath the Moon and Stars - it’s simply gorgeous, so bright and inviting, willing you to pick it out. It was exactly what I needed with all greyness from the dingy mornings and evenings we’re starting to have.  I read the prologue to the book and was instantly intrigued.  There was clearly going to be more to this story than I first thought from reading the synopsis.

We’re introduced to Joy Cartier the main character in this book in shall we say an unconventional way, swiftly fast forwarding to moving day when she and her brother are moving her into a cottage she has rented in Bramble Hill, a village not far from her childhood home.

This is Amelia’s debut novel and she has given us characters that are intriguing and different.  Each one having their own story and background that is slowly revealed throughout the book Finn, Zach and Casey the first villagers Joy meets all have stories that intertwine with hers throughout the book, each of them needing rescuing in different ways.  It is instantly clear that Joy is more than a little bit clumsy, things just seem to happen when she’s around, she manages to rub people up the wrong way but her vulnerability, loving nature and heart of gold shine out alongside pride, determination and a little bit of stubbornness.

It was apparent very early on that Joy was looking for somewhere to settle, to put down some roots having not managed it in any of the previous places she’d lived - and there’d been a few!  She was sure that Bramble Hill would be the place but within a day of arriving in the village she managed to get the heckles of the locals up, yet managed to gain support from an unlikely source.

This book is not simply a romantic, chick lit read. It is funny and emotional and also has a pinch of crime and mystery too.  Amelia drip feeds information throughout the story at a pace that is just perfect.  At times it is hilarious, I laughed out loud on several occasions and often sat smiling like the village idiot.  At other times I groaned and cursed at the characters and then a chapter later I found myself willing a happy ending for the very same people.  Beneath the Moon and Stars has many twists and turns that left me second guessing, not always correctly I might add.  

Something that Amelia has done with panache is to create characters that evoke feelings, this is only possible when an author has developed rounded characters with depth that aren’t superficial or unnecessary to the plot.  I truly loved this debut novel of Amelia Thorne’s and look forward to reading more in the future.  It is a book that is perfect for a lazy afternoon, curled up on the sofa whilst the rain lashes at the windows. I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking a bit of lighthearted escapism.

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