Author: Stacey Murray
Finished on: 2 April 2020
Where did I get this book: A kindle read
It’s not wall-to-wall perfect country idyll when you move from a big city to the Hope Valley in Derbyshire, you know.
Yes, it’s probably the most beautiful place in the entire world. Yes, you can go on any number of glorious walks straight from your doorstep. And yes, there is often a great sense of community. But it’s certainly not without its challenges.
Maggie Macbeth, the high-flying lawyer fallen on hard times at the centre of Stacey Murray’s debut novel, discovers this for herself when she rocks up on her friend’s doorstep in a village that is probably Hope, and asks to stay for an indeterminate length of time.
Over the next few months, as Maggie attempts to get her life back on track, she encounters an eccentric and amusing cast of supporting Hope Valley village inhabitants including (hurray!) a gloriously hunky farmer. The nice thing about this book, though, is that it’s full of flawed people. And not in a cheesy – oh I’m just flaky enough to be a bit quirky but otherwise I’m perfect – way. These people are seriously flawed, have real problems and genuinely struggle – a bit like, you know, real people.
The star of the show here is the friendship between Maggie and her generous with the spare room old mate, Cath. Now there’s a beautiful love story – women who’ve been through the mill and are there to take care of each other with a glass of wine and a good laugh. The course of true friendship never did run smooth, but it’s all the more believable and gripping for that.
I came for the Hope Valley setting but I stayed for Murray’s cast of characters and the delicious relationships between them.
A great mate, a hunky farmer and the most beautiful valley in the world. What more could a high-flying lawyer, or indeed a reader, want?