Kate Forster comes to the blog with a story of second chances and redefining your life with
Starting Over at Acorn Cottage
Clara has had a series of bad things that happened: raised with an alcoholic and abusive father until she and her mother finally escaped, finding her best friend and boyfriend having an affair, realizing that every relationship she has turns sour. A night of wine-fueled browsing on the internet brought her to Acorn Cottage, bought sight unseen in the little village of Merryknowe, and she’s finally thinking she can fulfill the dream she and her mother had of a cottage in the country. But the house needs major work, nothing quite seems as it should, and the only place she stopped to grab some food had a very harassed younger woman serving her: and set all of her senses on high alert. Meanwhile, traveling thatcher and all-around handyman Henry and his young daughter Pansy have arrived in town just to give Clara an estimate, and have found a place to park their camper-van conversion.
This story brought all of Clara’s issues to the forefront – her relationships never worked because she has always held something back: in blaming herself for issues in her childhood, she has consigned herself to a ‘quick in, quicker out’ history with relationships, and never quite shares all of herself with anyone. Meanwhile, Henry is still mourning the loss of his wife to cancer, and has kept Pansy close, the fear of losing someone again has him unable to see any vision of the future. With Rachel in the bakery being the only reason that any traffic comes through, and her unique and clever twist on her baking, the micromanagement and abuse from her mother has her insecure and lacking confidence: always waiting for the next shoe to drop. Overseeing it all is Tassie, nearing ninety, she’s a former schoolteacher, with the ability to ‘know things’ whether from her tea leaves, her experience or what she sees. Tassie sees Rachel’s struggles, notices Henry and his daughter, and is intrigued by Clara and the energy she emits.
Soon personal histories and struggles are shared, quietly at first, then in huge rushes as Rachel’s lack of confidence and shy nature speak to Clara and she starts to work to bring Rachel to see her worth. The relationship between Henry and Clara, and even little Pansy with her childlike way of explaining the world and being wholly honest bring them both to recognition of their attraction, and with a bit of a nudge from Tassie, the whole of both their stories come out. A lovely story of finding what you need to heal yourself while finding a way to enrich the lives of others – there were issues of trust, abuse, guilt, grief and hope all wound together to bring a smile at the end.
Title: Starting Over at Acorn Cottage
Author: Kate Forster
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dual Narration, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Aria
Published on: 19 March, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
Buying a thatched cottage in the country may not be the usual cure for a broken heart.
But after Clara Maxwell finds out her boyfriend and best friend have been sneaking around behind her back, packing her bags and leaving everything in London behind feels like the only option...
Clara knew Acorn Cottage would be a fixer-upper... Yet in person, the cottage is less charmingly ramshackle and more a real health and safety concern. When Henry Garnett, her (rather handsome) new contractor, turns up with his little daughter Pansy and a van shaped like a cottage in tow, she isn't sure whether to laugh or cry. What on earth has she gotten herself into?!
Still, there is something strangely lovable about the people in the little village of Merryknowe, from Rachel Brown, the quiet, lonely girl who bakes magical confections for the tearooms, to Tassie McIver, a little old lady with a lot of wisdom and a penchant for reading tea leaves. And Clara can't deny that Henry and Pansy are quickly worming their way into her heart...
With all the heartbreak of the year behind her, could Acorn Cottage be the fresh start Clara so desperately wants?
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.