I was lucky enough to be given a copy of this by Netgalley to review – and then asked to be part of Fern’s blog tour – which was very very exciting!!
I hadn’t read the blurb before I read the book (based on the fact I’ve enjoyed all of Fern’s previous books) – but here is it is for you:
“The new witty and warm novel from the Sunday Times best-selling author and TV presenter, Fern Britton.
Secrets. Sisters. The summer that changed everything . . .
Life in the Cornish village of Pendruggan isn’t always picture perfect. Penny Leighton has never told anyone why she’s estranged from her mother and sister. For years she’s kept her family secrets locked away in her heart, but they’ve been quietly eating away at her. When an unwelcome visitor blows in, Penny is brought face to face with the past. And a postcard, tucked away in a long-hidden case, holds the truth that could change everything.
Young Ella has come back to the place where she spent a happy childhood with her grandmother. Now she’s here to search for everything missing in her life. Taken under Penny’s broken wing for the summer, the safe haven of Pendruggan feels like the place for a fresh start. Soon, however, Ella starts to wonder if perhaps her real legacy doesn’t lie in the past at all.”
I was DELIGHTED when I started reading to find out it was set in Pendruggan again – and revisiting characters we’d met before. It felt like meeting up with old friends. The previous books set in this village of Cornwall have always left me wanting to know more – and I was about to find out more – hoorah!
This time it centres, initially, on Penny. She’s a new Mum, vicar’s wife and TV exec – not necessarily always in that order. The story follows her current and historic relationships with her family and the impact each has on the other. It also looks at quite serious issues of postnatal depression and the fact that women are expected to want to ‘have it all’ – and just how tough that can be for families.
Ella is then introduced – firstly in London and then moving down to Cornwall. Her story interweaves with Penny’s – and it is interesting to see their relationship develop, along with Ella’s relationships with other villagers.
I really enjoyed this easy, escapist read and the gentles twists and turns of the story. It really evokes the feeling of being in Cornwall – and the village fete was very reminiscent of our own – albeit ours is in Worcestershire!
I don’t want to give too much of the story away (I hate it when I read a review that gives away something fundamental) but you really are rooting for Penny and Ella in different ways.
My only very slight criticism is that the ending seems a bit rushed. After a perfectly paced majority of the book, the loose ends for Penny are all tied up super quickly in the final chapter. However, that’s not the case for Ella – and there is practically an Eastenders – duff, duff, duff at the end of the epilogue for her! I can only hope that means we’ll be revisiting Pendruggan with its characters again soon!
I need to slot this into my 2017 Reading Challenge – and I’m going for the category ‘A book you bought on a trip’ as I downloaded it whilst we were at Centerparcs. I realise that is slightly tenuous – but I can’t possibly read something and not tick a category off!! We’re almost half way through the year and I’ve only managed 14 of the 40 categories – good job the summer holidays are coming up. #readingheaven