Mia Channing Appears To Have An Enviable Life A Beautiful Home, A Happy Marriage, A Job She Enjoys And Three Grown Up Children To Whom She S Devoted But Appearances Can Be DeceptiveWhen The Family Gathers For Her Son S Th Birthday, He Brings With Him His Latest Girlfriend Who, To Their Surprise, Has A Nine Year Old Daughter Then, Before The Birthday Cake Has Even Been Cut, Mia S Youngest Daughter Daisy Has Seized The Opportunity To Drop A Bombshell It S An Evening That Marks A Turning Point In All Their Lives, When Old Resentments And Regrets Surface And The Carefully Ordered World Mia Has Created Begins To Unravel A lovely read, about a family living in an English village, with sadness, secrets, and love. A typical Erica James book It makes for easy reading and is ideal for a holiday or just wind down chilling time.As usual there are a couple of twists that you don t see coming a predictable outcome for the hero and heroine, although you are not quite sure what the journey will be some tears, taking you by surprise when they happen and some laughter brought about by situations and characters.I enjoyed this book and in a World where there are troubles and strife aplenty it s nice to be transported into the English countryside and into the world of parish f tes and village gossip Knowing the area of Olney and Yardley Hastings brought vivid pictures to mind If you love Erica James and Maeve Binchy, then this is the book for you. A lovely story set in a beautiful village Erica James has a wonderful talent when it comes to setting a scene and she doesn t disappoint with this novel I found the characters well rounded and you find yourself easily caught up in their lives A very enjoyable read I enjoyed this novel It was a welcome change from the book I read before which was edge of the seat stuff This isan enjoyable slice of life about a family The family functions best when Jeff Channing, husband of Mia and father of Jensen, Eliza and, his blatant favourite, Daisy, is out of the way Otherwise Jeff tends to overshadow everyone else and all their insecurities rise to the surface Everyone in this family has secrets They are not the only ones So does Owen Fletcher who returns Little Pelham and fulfils his dream to buy the hidden cottage, where he spent happy times as a child As you might expect in a village Owen immediately draws attention as the newcomer There is an instant attraction between Owen and Mia and you get a feeling you know where the story is heading But there arethan a couple of surprises and shocks along the way.I liked the English village setting and its community involvement, with its fetes and talent shows but also its penchant for gossip, personality clashes and thinly disguised interference in the lives of others The characters were well drawn While I may not personally agree with Mia s choices or the way she handled decisions and conflict, the author made her and her family believable if flawed characters Maybe it s because they were flawed they were so believable I ve read a number of Erica James novels This is a very enjoyable read. I really enjoyed The Hidden Cottage and felt very happy as I finished it I was pleased it ended the way it did as I wasn t sure until I d finished just how it would end.I found it to be a great tale of love, honesty and family life with worry, excitement loss woven expertly in for our reading pleasure.There are a lot of characters past present to get to know but the way the author, Erica James, linked them all together made it very easy to keep up with them all She connected the reader to the characters in such a way that I was easily caught up in their lives, connecting with them feeling for them.I loved how Owen s childhood history with The Hidden Cottage and the village was slowly told through the book, it enabled us to understand his passion for the cottage, and the desire to continue to live there whatever might occur in his private life, and the subsequent village gossip So well was the beautiful, quaint village of Little Pelham described that I wanted to live there even with all the nosy neighbours I enjoyed them all, especially Muriel who initially appeared to be a horrid village gossip but by the end it was evident what a good friend she was to the central character in the book, Mia.I enjoyed Putin, the resident village peacock making his appearances through the book his was a pleasant addition and added to the wonderful, idyllic image of the village Mia s husband Jeff had an attitude that ruffled everyone s feathers, including mine He was emotionally distant from all of his family, particularly his children, his word was law and he was never wrong in his eyes Such a difficult man and father to get along with, but I did enjoy the way Mia dealt with him, always calm, ever the lady.The surprising twist in the middle of the book was unexpected and heart wrenching but that s all I ll say as I don t want to give anything away I found myself entwined with the family and their problems I cared about what happened such was my feeling of a connection to them.Overall, this was a thoroughly well written book that I really enjoyed and didn t want to put down.Erica James writes in such a way that pulls the reader in very quickly, and leaves us wantingby the end Another book that I would not necessarily consider of the chick lit genre it is much deeper than that. Loved this book I could so clearly imagine the cottage with its lake and island Liked the characters too, especially Owen Recommended read for any chick lit fan. I love the family dynamics of this book, no sugar coating, The grief over losing someone close and how your life can change in an instant Brilliantly written. I always refer to Erica James as my duvet author, the one I go to when I am feeling tired, stressed or just generally rubbish I also go to her when I have had a recent addiction to my fantasy adventures, just to return to the real world a little bit The thing with Erica James is that she is safe, you know what you are going to get with her Her books can be a little formulaic there is the odd exception, Tell it to the Skies still amazes me and that is certainly evident in the Hidden Cottage.Almost from the start you could predict what was going to happen and whilst her characters did invite you to keep turning the pages I was always a bit reluctant to return to work after a lunch break spent reading , she did not seem to invest the time to really develop them We saw them on the surface and we were hurried into knowing their deepest, darkest secrets and past apart from one, but that wasto create an impact on an event that takes place towards the end.Whilst I certainly would happily read this book again, and probably will, I would say it is perhaps not one of James best I do, however, still look forward to her next novel. Took awhile to get into but then I couldn t put it down Twists and turns and I won t spoil it by saying any Just i didn t expect something that happened about mid way in the book.
With an insatiable appetite for other people s business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother s compulsion.T
- 372 pages
- The Hidden Cottage
- Erica James
- 22 April 2017 Erica James