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Kitty's Countryside Dream: A feel good…
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Kitty's Countryside Dream: A feel good romantic comedy about life,…

by Christie Barlow

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I was really excited to read this novel. If the cover was anything to go by then the story would be fuzzy warm too. And it is a wonderful story indeed! Kitty’s Countryside Daydream proved to be much more than some chicklit though, taking a quite surprising turn towards the middle of the novel.

It all starts off innocently enough with new beginnings for Kitty. After the passing of a grandmother she never knew about, she is moving to a new town, into the flat left to her, she has a new job too that she knows nothing about and proves to be quite a challenge, which is a perfect cause for many humorous moments. Slowly she starts making new friends and we are witness to these blossoming friendships. Right of the bat I knew that Tom, the current manager at Bluebell Lodge, and Kitty were a perfect match, but sadly her attraction to Tom seemed one-sided to Kitty, him having taken an interest in the beautiful Jeannie and Jeannie from her part wants to set her up with her brother Robin.

I thought this little feel-good novel would not hold many surprises for me, counting only on the light-hearted thread but I was wrong, mea culpa. There are not only the usual misunderstandings and romantic complications but it has another deeper layer, one of mystery and of hidden past secrets, which surface when she finds an old diary. The diary submissions of Violet were quite captivating on itself and willed me to keep turning the pages and learn about the secrets hidden. The last part was quite emotional for Kitty and for me but I’m happy the way it all turned out to be. There is a bit of heartbreak but also a lot of warmth and happiness to find here. A real recommended read if you want a chicklit with an extra.

*I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for my honest opinion* ( )
  Ingstje | Apr 15, 2016 |
Having never read anything by Christie Barlow before, I will admit that this book sold itself to me purely on the cover and it's tagline of being a feel good romantic comedy about life, love and family.

When Kitty inherits a flat, and BlueBell Lodge from a grandmother she never knew (and had grown up assuming was dead) life takes a turn she could never have imagined. The flat comes with Alfie the cat, while Bluebell Lodge turns out to be a working free range chicken farm complete with a handsome farm manager called Tom. It's a steep learning curve for Kitty as she gets to grips with the farm, makes new friends, aims to juggle her feelings for Tom and his rival Robin while coping with the recent loss of her mother and the mystery surrounding her grandmother.

The discovery of a diary written by the mysterious Violet answers some of the questions about Kitty's family history, but it also opens up a whole can of worms that have consequences for her current situation.

This is a lovely book, that really does live up to it's billing as a feel good romantic comedy. Kitty really works as a character, she is occassionally a bit ditzy, but is so warm, friendly and loveable that you're willing everything to work out for her. Tom is the handsome neighbour we'd all love to have, but he also has a strength and depth that lifts his role above being a mere superficial distraction. The other characters are also warm and supportive so that when things take a darker turn for Kitty she really discovers the value of friendship and family.

The story that unfolds regarding Kitty's family, raises the bar, so this is more than just the chick lit/romance that the cover might imply and adds a depth and a mystery that is both engaging and heartbreaking.

I have no problem in recommending this book, it's a great story to curl up and settle down with.

I received an advance review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  Jilldoyle | Mar 27, 2016 |
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