I do so enjoy Jessica Redland’s lovely uplifting books and am pleased to say that Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is just as lovely.
It’s the story of Sam, who we meet when she is the bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousin Chloe who is also her best friend. The only slight issue is that she is marrying the man Sam loves, James, who used to be Sam’s boyfriend. While on an errand after the ceremony, she gets lost and ends up finding an elderly man ill in his remote farmhouse, Hedgehog Hollow. As she’s a nurse, she stops to help and this chance meeting leads to a firm friendship between Sam and grumpy Thomas which it’s fair to say, changes both their lives for the better. However, events at the wedding reception when she finally makes it back, very late and rather muddy, result in some very unpleasant scenes and undeserved ill feeling towards Sam.
Jessica Redland explores a lot of very complicated family relationships throughout the book and it was fascinating to read about how the difficult situations had come about and to what extent they resolved over the course of the book. The relationship between Sam and her mum was particularly difficult and was sad to read about. On the other hand, the growing friendship between Sam and Thomas, the owner of Hedgehog Hollow, was just lovely. It was very touching to read about an earlier connection between Sam and Thomas’ late wife Gwendoline. Thank goodness for Sam’s Dad and her other good friends when at times so many people seemed so unjustly against her.
Sam was a character I really took to heart. She really was kindness personified. It was just in her nature to show kindness to people and to animals, even when sometimes the people in particular didn’t deserve it. It was certainly true what her grandad used to say “The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose”. It’s not a phrase I’d heard before but is about acts of kindness ultimately benefiting the giver. Although Sam would never do anything with the expectation of reward, all her kindnesses definitely do reward her.
I have spoken a bit about the relationships within the book and about Sam herself but haven’t even touched on the fact that there is also a rather nicely done romance within the story, as you might guess from the title. It’s not perhaps the main focus but really added to my enjoyment, the way the love was not sought or expected but was without doubt a meeting of minds. And then there’s the hedgehog rescue centre which Sam is tasked with setting up, to fulfil Thomas and Gwendoline’s plans. Perhaps coincidentally, we’ve had visits to our garden almost every evening this week from a hedgehog (sometimes two) – perhaps they knew I was reading about them!
I very much enjoyed Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow. It’s a delightful story of friendship, kindness and love and of being true to yourself. It’s a wonderfully heart-warming story which I recommend if you are looking for a really feel-good read. I am looking forward to reading more about Sam and her hedgehogs in future books about Hedgehog Hollow.
My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for having me as part of the tour and to the publishers for my review copy of the book from Netgalley. Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is published today and you can order your copy here: Finding Love at Hedghog Hollow
From the back of the book
Can love really be found when you stop looking for it…?
As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.
But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.
Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfil Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.
Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…
About the author
Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.
Social Media Links
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JessicaRedland
Own website – https://www.jessicaredland.com/
Mailing list sign up – http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletter