Published By: Boldwood
Released On: 09/01/2023
With nowhere else to go, Harriet Colgan has returned to the sleepy village of Cranfield to sell her beloved aunt and uncle’s cottage, the only place she ever called home. When she arrives at Lavender Cottage, Harriet discovers plans to replace the beautiful lavender fields, her uncle’s pride and joy, with an industrial warehouse. With time on her hands, she realises she must fight to protect her family’s legacy and the village of Cranfield as well.
Workaholic businessman Joe Randall was expecting an easy purchase of the lavender fields. But suddenly his quiet life is disrupted by protests from angry locals, organised by Harriet. Can Harriet show Joe that there’s more to life than just work? And can Joe change his mind and help Harriet save the lavender fields?
Over a long, hot summer, and with the help of a stray dog, perhaps Harriet and Joe can find their way home too.
Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.
I apologise to anyone who was awoken by my squeal when I saw that Alison Sherlock had a new series out. What a way it’ll be to start the new year.
This book had everything I have come to expect from Alison’s stories: humour, sadness, tenderness, friendship, love and hope. Her books always evoke this sense of community that I lust after so much. The small village out in the countryside. It doesn’t matter how many times I read books with this setting, it never loses its appeal.
I adore the smell of lavender (it reminds me of my late Nan), it’s one of my favourite herbs, and I love that it was a star of this book. The way it’s written and given the time and attention it deserves…well, you can practically smell it lifting off the page.
One thing I really liked was the idea of failure – stay with me here. A lot of fiction, be it books or film or TV, every new business idea is a success. There’s never struggles for money or confidence, but that’s impractical and insulting to those who try hard to make it a success. This book shows that whilst things can be tough, it’s never impossible.
She creates some truly delicious characters. There are many supporting characters but, unsurprisingly, the best ones for me are Harriet and Joe. They seemed so natural and worked off each other so well. I already have a Joe in my life, but he is my cousin, so a completely different arrangement, so therefore I need THIS Joe in my life. Plus that group of friends. And a beautiful cosy cottage. And lavender. It’s all wrapped up perfectly in a beautiful little parcel that I want to spend every day unwrapping.
I love her description of grief. We have literal grief of bereavements, the grief of losing a job or a business, grief of losing a home, and grief of losing yourself. She’s got the note just right. It’s sensitive and given enough time but it’s not overwhelmingly sad. At its heart it’s about love – romantic and platonic – and joy and passion, and most importantly hope.
I truly hope this will be a long series as I think I could live in Cranfield forever.