Emma's life is only beginning its turn for the worse when
her boyfriend dumps her. One road accident later, she's
hospital with a couple of broken limbs and some brain
damage which means she'll have to let her senses learn to
work properly again. Though she loved her independent life
in London, there's no alternative but to return to
Whistling in Yorkshire for CHRISTMAS AT HOPE COTTAGE.
Granny Evie, aunts Dot and Aggie are redoubtable country
ladies set in their ways. Emma Halloway is safe here but
far from the life she had led (or WiFi), also unable to
earn from her cookery column. The local men include Jack
Allen -- who stayed here when Emma went to London, or they
might have been an item. And Sandro, a Spanish caterer
renting a room with the aunts. Talking cheerfully, running
a tapas restaurant and invading Emma's space. She's just
not able for loud noise and movement.
We also return to the winter of 1995 to see how Emma's
grandmother took the girl in after her parents' deaths.
This was the first chance they had to get to know each
other, and the Christmas scents of wood fires and cinnamon
were forever linked to Hope Cottage in Emma's mind.
has always been a major part of farmhouse living and
recipes are kept in The Book. Some say the home-grown
and fresh-laid eggs carry healing properties. Others jeer
at the family, calling them witches.
I found Emma's new and unwanted synaesthesia hugely
interesting. She tries to have a shower only to find the
water feels like insect stings on her skin. She can't
or taste but sometimes sees double and gets a headache
she tries to read or write. The doctor recommends
to the cookery she used to enjoy, saying the gentle work
will help her. Maybe it will stimulate her missing senses.
This tale constantly switches through time, showing
interpersonal relationships and the cycle of generations
being repeated. We see that yes, some of us watch too many
cookery shows and do too little cooking, or have no idea
where our ingredients are grown. I thought a few too many
personal revelations are made, usually after a photo turns
up, and since the reader doesn't actually care if someone
in a previous generation dated someone else, the shock
value is nil, making this a poor chapter ending hook. Lily
Graham has written a gentle and absorbing romance about
learning to lead a quieter life. CHRISTMAS AT HOPE COTTAGE
may inspire you to cook with your children. That's how
In the little village of Whistling, with its butterscotch
cottages and rolling green hills, snow is beginning to fall.
Christmas is coming, and Emma Halloway is on her way home.
Emma Halloway gets dumped then knocked off her bike, she's
broken in more ways than one, and returns to her family's
cosy cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Emma hasn't been back
in some time, running from her crazy relatives and her
childhood sweetheart, Jack Allen.
Sandro, doesn't believe anyone should have to choose between
love and family. With a little bit of Christmas magic, can
Emma and Jack find a way to be together, or will Emma find
herself heartbroken once more?