#BookReview of A Taste of Home By Heidi Swain @Heidi_Swain @harriett_col @simonschusteruk @TeamBATC #Fiction #Wynbridge

A Taste of Home
By Heidi Swain

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour for the delicious – A Taste of Home, the latest book by Heidi Swain. It’s a wonderful summer read down on the farm in Wynbridge.  Check out the blurb and review.

Available Now

A Taste of Home cover

Blurb

The delicious new novel from Sunday Times bestseller Heidi Swain:

Fliss Brown has grown up living with her mother on the Rossi family’s Italian fruit farm. But when her mother dies, Fliss finds out she has a family of her own, and heads back to England with Nonna Rossi’s recipe for cherry and almond tart and a piece of advice: connect with your family before it is too late…

Fliss discovers that her estranged grandfather owns a fruit farm himself, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, and she arrives to find a farm that has fallen into disrepair. Using her knowledge gleaned from working on the Rossi farm and her desire to find out more about her past, Fliss rolls her sleeves up and gets stuck in. But what will she discover, and can she resurrect the farm’s glory days and find a taste of home…?

Review

wp-1620377891927.jpgBeautifully written from the start, begins at a funeral in Italy. Through a short series of lovely composed letters by her mum, Fliss starts to learn a bit about Fenview Farm in Wynbridge and the significance.
There’s an air of excitement and intrigue to know more and to see how the next chapter in her life can begin. The book links past and present, exquisitely as Fliss goes on a journey of discovery. It sounds whimsical, but steers away from this. All isn’t completely well when she is in Wynbridge, starting with her grandfather, who she needs to connect with, but he is in a state of ill-health and until now, doesn’t know of her existance and the farm that is in desperate need of attention. The farm also bridges her Italian life and life in England as farms in both countries link as she draws upon her experiences for Fenview. Food is plays quite a significant part in this, from the fruit in the orchard to delights like cherry and almond tart.

Fliss also ends up acquainted to Eliot and Louise Randall, who her mother had written to and has to take her to the farm, where her mother had grown up.

There is a cosyness as life bumbles along and sparks of romance start to ignite. There is much flirtation and the subtleness is beautiful.
A Taste of Home has a feel-good atmosphere, that wraps around the challenges of life, a bit like a hug. There’s also the comfort of food here and there, so perhaps graze as you read or don’t read when feeling ravenous. There is a lovely tart and exquisite fruit to be found within the pages. Between that and the romance, it is sure to set people up for summer. It has a soft warmth in the middle of its complex, harder times. It’s easy to imagine it to be like the fruit tart within the book with harder edges and soft middle.

I thank Harriett Collins at Simon & Schuster publishers for gifting me the book, a packet of strawberry seeds, recipe and sweets. Please note, my review is purely based on the book and not been influenced by anything.

About the Author


Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times bestselling author of twelve novels. Heidi lives in beautiful
south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about
gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading.
To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain
or visit her website: www.heidiswain.co.uk

 

#BookReview by Lou of A Family Reunion by Patricia Scanlan @patriciascanl18 @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC @RandomTTours #AFAmilyReunion

A Family Reunion
By Patricia Scanlan
Rated: 5 stars *****

A Family Reunion by Patricia Scanlan is highly charged as it unravels buried secrets, emotions, betrayals of some fiesty characters. It delves into both light and dark corners of life, religion, family, all the way to a very satisfying end.

Thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour to review and to the publisher- Simon & Schuster for a copy of A Family Reunion.

Meander down to find out more about the author, the blurb and my review.

 

About the Author

patricia-scanlan-21722763

Patricia Scanlan lives in Dublin. Her books, all number one bestsellers, have sold worldwide and been translated into many languages.

 

Blurb

A Family Reunion Cover (1)One explosive family reunion. A lifetime of secrets revealed.
When four feisty women from the same family, get together at a family reunion, anything can happen…
Marie-Claire, betrayed by her partner Marc plans her revenge to teach him a lesson he will never forget. She travels from Toronto, home to Ireland, to the house of the Four Winds, for her great aunt Reverend Mother Brigid’s eightieth birthday celebrations. It will be a long-awaited reunion for three generations of
family, bringing together her mother, Keelin and grandmother, Imelda – who have never quite got along.
And then all hell breaks loose.

Bitter, jealous Imelda makes a shocking revelation that forces them all to confront their pasts, admit mistakes, and face the truths that have shaped their lives. With four fierce, opinionated women in one family, will they ever be able to forgive the past and share a future?
And what of Marc?
It’s never too late to make amends…or is it?
Spanning generations and covering seismic shifts in the lives of women, A Family Reunion is a compelling,
thought-provoking, important and highly emotional novel from a trailblazing author in women’s fiction.

A Family Reunion Cover (1)

Review

A Family Reunion promises secrets right from the start, where there is a pertinent quote by George Orwell, and suddenly the curiosity builds from this single quote. Right from the prologue, an image is instantly painted from the descriptions and a timeline is established and is handled very smoothly – 1953, mid 80’s, 2017. There is Marie-Claire, Keelin, Reverand Mother Brigid and Imelda, heading up the main character list. Although it starts with Christmas Eve, even though it is now past Christmas, this is okay as it isn’t totally about Christmas and time does move on. This book is about life and how it isn’t always a bed of roses.

They all meet in Ireland for the birthday party, like one grand reunion and the scene is set for moving the story onwards and the whole family dynamics gets very interesting indeed. It isn’t all as cosy and jovial as one might expect as tensions rise and emotions that have been kept buried deep down bubble up to the surface and overspill. It also shows the characters as they grow as time moves onwards. It shows the trials and tribulations of betrayal (especially Marc with Marie-Claire), trying to grow-up and be indpendent in the face of parental views,(especially in Keelin’s life, where her dad has a whole covert operation planned that is at odds with his wife).

There’s huge twists and facts that each character has to face, sometimes shocking, sometimes also highly emotional. The characters are often strong and have a feisty part of their personalities.

The book also depicts both the positives and negatives of religion, including some atrocities, which means the points of view are balanced and rounded.

It’s a big book is just over 500 pages, but once started, it doesn’t feel so big as It becomes immersive and involving as the characters are richly developed as their pasts and life circumstances unfold. I felt that Patricia Scanlan has a good grasp of the different times and attitudes of the time and shows this well in character’s viewpoints. It is good that she didn’t shy away from anything, even though society has moved on a quite a lot since the earlier dates the book is set in. It gives it solid grounding, identity and authentic, which makes for a strong plot. There’s also some words of wisdom imparted here and there within the plot as it progresses. As the book concludes, it does so, leaving a very satisfied feeling.

A Family Reunion BT Poster (1)