This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
As you’ll see from the mini reviews below, escaping to the rolling hills of Cumbria with this month’s Novelicious Book Club pick was a sheer delight. We all loved Appleby Farm by Cathy Bramley and we’re looking forward to hearing how you enjoyed the book during our #NoveliciousBookClub chat on Twitter at 8pm GMT tonight.
But first, here are some thoughts from members of the team and one of our readers Petra, who blogs at The Nest of Books Review.
Appleby Farm has such warmth and charm and I thought Freya was a fantastic leading character. She has such a positive attitude and although she doesn't know much about farming, she is determined to help her aunt and uncle save the farm. I loved Freya’s ideas and enjoyed seeing how each new venture turned out. Cathy Bramley's previous novel, Ivy Lane was such a fantastic read so it was nice to catch up with some of the Kingsfield characters as well as meeting a whole new set in Lovedale.
Loved this book from start to finish. With Ivy Lane Cathy Bramley made me want to get an allotment and she has done it again as now I want to spend time somewhere like Appleby Farm. Brimming with lovable characters it was an absolute joy to read. It also gave me great pleasure to see a couple's first wedding dance was the same as mine!
As soon as I started reading about Freya, I was swept away first back to the lovely allotments at Ivy Lane and soon after to the lush, rolling countryside of the Lake District. Cathy has a really wonderful way of creating atmospheric settings for her novels that make you wish you were right there with the characters, and Appleby Farm is the most magical location yet. Despite all the troubles that hit Freya and her family along the way, all you really want to do as a reader is pack your suitcase and visit this delightful place yourself.And the characters too are utterly wonderful. Freya is a strong and likeable protagonist who has plenty of difficult choices to make on her journey to keep readers guessing until the very end. Thought it are the supporting cast members that for me make this such a fantastically written and engrossing read, from the adorable Lizzie at Appleby Farm and Harry at the neighbouring farm, right down to Charlie, Tilly and the rest of the Ivy Lane gang that make a reappearance throughout.
Appleby Farm is as lovely and homely as its title. When you dive into this romantic read you'll be rewarded with a delightfully sweet story, and after finishing that final page you'll want nothing more than put on your wellies and go for a hike through the English countryside.
The setting of Appleby Farm and the surrounding area of Lovedale are brought to life through Bramley’s wonderful description that’s weaved effortlessly into the story. Although I know very little about farming, I soon became immersed in Appleby Farm and desperate to know whether the troubles it and the owners faced would be resolved. I came to understand the value of long, tiring hours spent looking after the land and animals, and desperately wanted the traditions to be continued by the next generations of the family. Freya has all these amazing ideas of how to bring the farm into the present and increase its earning capabilities but there seems to be so much against her. Cathy Bramley has the ability to create not just loveable characters, but a loveable community that you will want to be part of.
Petra of The Nest of Books Review:
Appleby Farm is packed with some many wonderful and friendly characters that made you feel part of the story. I was captivated with Lizzie Moon and Auntie Sue and Uncle Arthur lovely personalities. I enjoyed the rebuild of Freya's bond between her parents and cheered Harry on to speak finally about his feelings for the girl of his dreams.
Cathy manages to grab your attention right from the very first chapter. Her descriptions of the charming village of Lovedale and the sprawling Appleby Farm and its surroundings are so vivid and detailed that it is very easy to picture the breathtaking Cumbrian landscape in front of your own eyes. The story flows in such a natural manner that it makes it very hard to put down.
Appleby Farm is a story of real hopes, significant challenges, incredible experiences and exciting future. I enjoyed every moment of this book. If you haven't read it yet, grab a copy, snuggle down on your favourite spot with a lovely cup of tea and dive into another of Cathy Bramley delightful book treats.
What did you think of Appleby Farm by Cathy Bramley? Leave your thoughts in the comments or join us on Twitter at 8pm GMT for the #NoveliciousBookClub chat.