As you can see from the photo above, The Country Village Summer Fete is a book which is ideal for reading in the sunshine. My photo is taken at Inveresk Lodge Garden in East Lothian, a beautiful National Trust for Scotland garden, where I spent a little while reading earlier this week. If you have lovely sunshine too just now, get yourself a copy and sit outside somewhere to enjoy this summery book.
I really did enjoy visiting the village of Little Bramble and I felt for the main character, Emma. Approaching her 50th birthday she starts to realise that she’s been so focussed on work that life has passed her by somehow. When it seems that her elderly dad needs her help, she somewhat reluctantly goes back to the family home in the village she left almost 30 years ago. I say reluctantly because the reason she left and had rarely gone back was still in her mind and she felt sure that she would be judged for her decisions of long ago.
One things I so enjoyed about this book was that the people of the village were in fact really welcoming to Emma. The author introduces us to lots of characters who live the village. There’s Clare who becomes a close friend and encourages Emma to take a stall at the summer fete. There’s her dad’s lovely neighbour Dilys who has been keeping an eye out for him. There’s Jenny, mum to twins in her 40s and who provides quite a few humorous moments. And there’s Connor, who Emma used to be in a relationship with and who she tries hard to avoid for many reasons.
The author wrote about the relationship between Emma and her dad Greg so movingly. They were both still very much missing her late mum and in starting to makes jams and chutneys using her mum’s recipes for the summer fete, Emma recalls so many memories of happy times they spent together. The love between father and daughter was clear to see, as it was for another significant father and daughter in the book. Much to her surprise, Emma finds herself enjoying the slower pace of life in the village and finds it just as fulfilling as her busy city life, though in different ways.
With its themes of friendship, community and second chance romance I thoroughly enjoyed The Country Village Summer Fete. It’s a perfect read for lazy summer days and a really heart-warming read. I was pleased to read at the back of the book that there is to be another book set in Little Bramble and I’m looking forward to returning to attend The Country Village Christmas Wedding.
My thanks to Jenna Petts at Zaffre books for sending me a copy of the book to read and review. At the time of writing, the Kindle version is only 99p so it’s a good time to treat yourself. Otherwise, the book is available in paperback format from your usual book retailer.
From the back of the book
Emma Patrick’s life is spiralling out of control. On the cusp of her 50th birthday, she realises that she’s been so focused on work that she’s lost any real connection to people.
When Emma’s ageing father needs her help, she decides to go back home to the countryside to spend some time with him. But returning to Little Bramble after years away is filled with complications and people she’d rather avoid.
To her surprise, as Emma settles in she finds herself loving village life. When the opportunity to get involved in the running of the summer fête comes her way, soon she’s embracing jam making, cake baking and bunting. And with romance brewing, Emma begins to doubt the glamorous city life that she worked so hard to build . . .
About the Author
Cathy Lake is a women’s fiction writer who lives with her family and three dogs in beautiful South Wales. She writes uplifting stories about strong women, family, friendship, love, community and overcoming obstacles.