Tuesday, 17 April 2018

A Home at Honeysuckle Farm - Christie Barlow

About the book...
A family secret
One shocking argument and ten-year-old Alice Parker’s world was turned upside down. Her peaceful life at Honeysuckle Farm in the quiet rural village of Brook Bridge swapped for the bustling metropolis of New York City. Alice’s life was changed forever…
A second chance
Now, thirteen years later, Alice’s American dream is over. With her life in tatters, there is only one place Alice wants to be… home at Honeysuckle Farm. 
A forever home?
But secrets still swirl in Brook Bridge, and Alice is no closer to discovering the truth. And for some reason her new friendship with local heartthrob Sam Reid seems to be making the locals tense.
Sick of the lies Alice knows it’s time to lay the past to rest once and for all. But could the truth ruin her hopes of ever calling Honeysuckle Farm home again?

Buy Links: 

About the author… 
Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty's Countryside Dream, Lizzie's Christmas Escape, Evie's Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream and A Home at Honeysuckle Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world. 

Contact Links: 
Twitter @ChristieJBarlow 
 Facebook page Christie Barlow author

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Rachel at Rachels Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

I was drawn to this book by the cover, spring was on it's way and it looked like it had arrived at Honeysuckle Farm.

A home at Honeysuckle Farm is set in the delightful village of Brook Bridge. It had english, chocolate box written all over it - picture perfect.  Of course the sun always shines and everyone is always happy when you live in a village which is why when I read books like this I want to up sticks and move to one.

The prologue personifies my image of village life exactly, all pretty houses and cute shops to amble in before settling down for afternoon tea in a fab cafe overlooking a babbling brook. That is until the happiness is shattered as Rose and her father, Alice's Grandie have an almighty row which sees them leaving their home, an annex attached to the  farmhouse owned by Grandie and heading to New York, where after a difficult start she settled down and made friends.  

Only a few pages in and what a lot of questions running round my head. What was the row about, what could Rose of done to be cut out of her fathers life? It was a very high price to pay for him, losing his grand-daughter at the same time. At first glance this was going to be a light, frothy book that did what it said on the tin but, it turned out to be much more than that - the story was intense, consuming and heart twisting.

Thirteen years after leaving for America with her mother, Alice is back in Brook Bridge having left her mother behind in America and is here because her Grandie is in hospital She is very apprehensive about meeting him again after all these years - would she ever find out the truth behind their sudden departure, she hoped so.

Once again, Christie Barlow has written a book that is full of delightful characters that are interwoven into a local community. The lows had me crying as hard as I smiled and laughed at the highs. It really was a tonic, a proper pick me up. It's the sort of book that once you pick it up and start reading you finish in no time and are left wondering how you've lost an afternoon without even blinking! This is the first of Christie's books I've read in a good while and was drawn back in as if I read the last one only yesterday! It was better than any tonic you can buy in the chemist.

If you love books that are wrapped up neatly in a classic happy ending then this is for you, it has it all, family, friendship, love, laughter, a sprinkling of sadness and a few little mysteries in the form of unanswered questions. I love how she slipped straight back into the idyll that she left as a child, the community coming together to welcome her back into their folds.

This was truly delightful - huge thx to Rachel for organising the blog tour, Christie for giving me the perfect place to escape - heads off to Rightmove to find me a chocolate box house!! I'm hoping there's one for sale.

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