I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the Book
When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.
When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…
Felicity (Flick) Simons has been in London eight years after fleeing her home village of Heartcross in the Scottish Highlands. Visits home had been fleeting but changes under a new regime at the department store where she works, from a friendly, family run business into something much more impersonal, had her thoughts turning more and more to Heartcross. She misses the people she’s left behind—her mum, gran Bonnie, and the good friends she’s grown up with. Her reasons for leaving are still raw and the painful memories are something she hasn’t yet completely come to terms with.
Felicity returns to Heartcross when her beloved grandmother passes away. She expects to be there a week or two, but circumstances dictate otherwise when the village is battered by a winter storm. The ferocity of the snow storm and resulting flood causes the Grade II listed bridge over the river, the only way in and out of the village during the winter, to be swept away leaving the villagers unable to receive any supplies. The river was too high and fast for boat crossings so no-one could get in or out.
Felicity thought back to her life at Heartcross and memories of her grandmother flooded her mind; the times they’d spent together in the family teashop and the love they’d shared. Bonnie Stewart had lived her whole life in the Scottish Highlands, and sadness flooded Felicity’s veins again as she remembered the way her grandmother’s cheeks had dimpled with her smile, the way she’d planted noisy kisses on the top of her head and the way she’d always smelled of scrumptious baking.
Flick has to make peace with her friends after the abrupt way she left Heartcross. Integrating back into the community, and repairing one relationship in particular, is not proving as easy as she hoped. She feels out of the loop. Flick needs to face up to the past and work at earning the trust of those she hurt. However, when her reasons for leaving become clear it’s not difficult to be more sympathetic towards her. Her overriding emotions are guilt for her thoughtlessness towards her friends over the years, sadness at Bonnie’s passing and shock at the circumstances her mother finds herself in. The dire situation facing the villagers brings out the best in her.
This is my first Christie Barlow book and I really enjoyed it. Stories set in wonderful locations with small, close knit communities that pull together when times are tough always appeal to me. There’s a good mix of engaging and realistic characters in believable situations and the setting is brought vividly to life. Drama, life changing issues and the power of positivity, social media and friendship are incorporated into the story as well the ability to recover from adversity. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
I chose to read and review Love Heart Lane courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources via NetGalley.
About the Author
Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.
Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.