Thursday, 25 February 2016

Kitty's Countryside Dream - Christie Barlow

About the book...

New home. New life. New beginning. It’s time for Kitty Lewis to start living again . . .  

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, the discovery of a long-hidden diary,at the farm, 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 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. 

About the author...

Christie Barlow the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother decided to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. She is just a Mum who wrote a book to prove to her children whatever you want to do in life go for it. The book she wrote to prove a point is now an Amazon #1 bestseller in the UK and USA. 

Christie can be contacted through her webpage: www.christiebarlow.com 
or via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristieJBarlow

My thoughts...
I was offered an advance copy of Kitty's Countryside Dream by Kim at Bookouture in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to do.

I cannot imagine for one minute that anybody will be able to resist picking up this book, the cover is amazing, I love it - especially as it's so dark, dingy and miserable outside at the moment.  It just shouts, hope, spring, happiness and makes me smile every time I look at it.

Kitty's Countryside Dream is Christie's third novel and as much as I loved the previous two, this one is just leaps and bounds better, it's got a tighter plot and the storyline digs deeper than in the 'Playground Mother' books.  It has a definite story to it, that It will have you laughing and smiling one minute and then you'll feel it pulling at your heart strings.

We start the book as Kitty receives an unexpected inheritance.  A inheritance from a  grandmother she had never known, a person whom she thought had been dead for many years. She finds herself the owner of a ground floor flat and Bluebell Lodge, a farm that turns out to be a working chicken farm.  Her inheritance coming at a time in her life when she needs a different direction, a new focus and a fresh beginning.

Christie has given us characters that I immediately took to heart just as Kitty did too.  Kitty finding immediate friendships in Jeannie who is working on the farm, Lucinda who owns the local bakery, Tom who is currently managing the farm and Robin Jeannie's brother. Sometimes in life we meet people and instant bonds are made.  From the very beginning of Kitty's Countryside Dream the friendship and support of what turns out to be a tight circle of friends is evident.  

At first this book delivered exactly what I expected a light hearted, humorous read that would have me smiling and laughing out loud, something I could pick up and put down as time dictated.  Then it all changed with the discovery of a diary written in 1960 by somebody called Violet.  There was already a few strange occurrences that had Kitty questioning what she had previously taken at face value and reading the diary has shocking consequences.

This really turned out to be a beautiful book, that focused on relationships between family and friends.  It answered questions that Kitty didn't realise needed answering.  Life as she knew it was turned on its head and the love, friendship and support of her new friends is what gives her the strength to face what went before and what lay ahead.  The love of our parents is something we take for granted but we don't always know the price they've paid in fulfilling that role.  Turning the pages and unravelling the story was very thought provoking. 

I highly recommend this book.  I was just as absorbed by the diary entries from 1960 as I was with the present day happenings at Bluebell Lodge.  1960 doesn't seem that long ago in time but the expectations and values of a different generation really are quite different to today.  One thing doesn't change though, loyalty, trust, friends and support are the most important thing in all our lives.  You can pick your friends, not your family and friendship is two way. It's equally important to be a good friend as it is to acceptance the hand of friendship.

I highly recommend this book and urge you all to head to Amazon and pre-order it now - you won't be disappointed, except that is when the book ends!  I can't wait for the next offering by the truly gorgeous Christie Barlow.