Abigail Mann returns to the blog with a story of self-discovery and recalcitrant farm animals with
The Sister Surprise
For all of her years, Ava has been part of a twosome –just her and her Mum, Every question about her father was fobbed off, and soon activities were moved on to other, more pressing issues with one of her mother’s many causes. But, an opportunity at work to increase her visibility and possibly open new doors arrives with the office-wide DNA test. Ava and her best work friend Max were chosen to star in a live reveal webcast, with much of the focus being on Ava’s half-hearted interest in her parentage.
The webcast was full of surprises and plenty of embarrassing moments for Ava, but the discovery of a half-sister in the highlands of Scotland opens yet another option. Assigned to write a travelogue on her search and reveal of her paternal ties leads her to a ‘volunteer for housing’ position at a small, struggling farm – where she’ll be helping out with sheep, pigs and chickens.
Kian has put his doctoral work on hold to run and save the family farm after his grandfather’s health takes a turn for the worse. A struggle at the best of times, the farm is heavily in debt, with papers and invoices unpaid, ignored or simply buried in a large pile. All of which start Ava’s fingers itching to file, organize, highlight and help. While completely out of her element with the animals, Ava is meeting the townsfolk in the small village, and trying to stealthily discover and meet her sister, all while providing ‘click content’ for her employer.
From sheep with a tendency to dive off cliffs like lemmings, to unfriendly sows, a chicken with an attitude and an arguably sexually confused cockerel (Ava’s theories) she’s got little more than cold, rain, work and exhaustion to occupy her time, and she’s able to sort through her worries, for the most part, about finding her sister and how her mother will react. The sister part was easy, and the bond with Moira was instant – even as Ava continued to hide the real reason for her stay.
With plenty of laughs where the animals and Ava’s wavering confidence are concerned, a solid friendship being built with Kian and the animals at the farm, some dodgy escape-artist sheep and plenty of moments to bond with Moira and her confusion over the dishy ‘priest’, the story is full of questions, moments, growth and above all, discovering yourself and family you’d never heard of in ways that are positive and helpful. With plenty of secrets unearthed, stories unfold and weave together to give Ava a new strength and purpose that she never expected that brings her closer to finding her true joy.
Title: The Sister Surprise
Author: Abigail Mann
Genre: British, Contemporary Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Scottish Clans, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter
Published on: 25 March, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Direct from Publisher
The next hilarious, uplifting book from Abigail Mann, author of The Lonely Fajita.
Journalist Ava takes a DNA test hoping to discover her roots. Instead, she finds out she has a half-sister … whilst on a live stream watched by 100,000 people. Her boss thinks it’s the perfect click-bait story. Ava just wants to go to Moira’s tiny Scottish village and meet her.
But when Ava arrives undercover as a volunteer farmhand, she realises Moira – who’s her pig-wrestling, chatterbox polar opposite – might not be delighted by the news. And the longer Ava stays in Kilroch, with its inappropriately attractive minister and ties to her hidden family past, the more complicated this surprise is going to get…
The perfect funny, heartwarming read for fans of Marian Keyes, Beth O’Leary, Sophie Ranald and Mhairi McFarlane.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.