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Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Sweetest Thing by Cathy Woodman

?If only everything in life was as simple as baking a cake...Jennie Copeland thought she knew the recipe for a happy life: marriage to her university sweetheart, a nice house in the suburbs and three beautiful children. But when her husband leaves her, she is forced to find a different recipe. And she thinks she's found just what she needs: a ramshackle house on the outskirts of the beautiful Talyton St George, a new cake-baking business, a dog, a horse, chickens...But life in the country is not quite as idyllic as she'd hoped, and Jennie can't help wondering whether neighbouring farmer Guy Barnes was right when he told her she wouldn't last the year. Or perhaps the problem is that she's missing one vital ingredient to make her new life a success. Could Guy be the person to provide it

I have read, and loved, both of Cathy Woodman's previous books. 'Trust Me, I'm a Vet' and 'Must be Love' were both set in the fictional village of Talyton St George and were centred around a vet's surgery and the vets who owned it. However, in The Sweetest Thing Woodman has moved away from the Vetinary practice, although there is mention of Maz and the surgery, and introduces new characters to the village.

Jennie Copeland and her son and daughters move to the village following the breakdown of her marriage, moving from the city to a country village. They move into Uphill House and begin to get involved with country life. When the previous owner of the house appears, Jennie begins to consider returning to dating, however her children do not agree, even though their dad is living with his new lover and already expecting a new baby soon.

The book covers many themes; the upheaval of a family due to separation of the parents; the parent and the children's struggle to settle in a new home/area of the country, setting up of a new business and how a new relationship for a parent can affect the whole family; along with a teenagers difficulty in resettling and starting a new life with new friends, while trying to keep in contact with old friends too.

I really enjoyed this book, although do not read it when you are hungry as the cakes sound delicious, as does each chapter title!!

I love Woodman's style of writing, it is an easy read, one which you can curl up with and get lost in or one which you can pick up and read a few chapters off as and when. The characters are believable, people I could be friends with and a village I would love to be a part of.

I would recommend this book to everyone, as I have previously said it is a gread read and although it is part of a series by Woodman, it is a standalone book and once you have read it I am sure you will be reaching for Woodman's previous two books. I hope that there is another book about Talyton St George due soon.

Thank you to the publishers, Arrow Books for sending me this book to review.

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