Friday, 13 February 2015

Appleby Farm Part One - A Blessing in Disguise by Cathy Bramley

Freya Moorcroft has wild red hair, mischievous green eyes, a warm smile and a heart of gold. She’s happy working at the café round the corner from Ivy Lane allotments and her romance with her new boyfriend is going well, she thinks, but a part of her still misses the beautiful rolling hills of her Cumbrian childhood home: Appleby Farm.

Then a phone call out of the blue changes everything…

Freya’s beloved Uncle Arthur and Auntie Sue need her help. For the first time in years, Freya is back on the farm feeding the chickens, mucking out the stables, and loving every moment. As her visit comes to an end, she has a difficult decision to make: stay, or go?

How I love Cathy Bramley! I was so eagerly anticipating Appleby Farm after being left bereft when the Ivy Lane series of books concluded (review for the paperback coming soon...!).
How pleased I was to realise that some of the favourite Ivy Lane characters would be popping up in this new series, and that it was centered around Freya Moorcroft who we had met in the latter half of Ivy Lane.

Freya works in the cafe around the corner from the Ivy Lane allotments, it's just a cover job, as much of Freya's employment seems to be. She feels that she has never really settled anywhere, even though she is now in a relationship with Charlie which she thought was going swimmingly until he breaks it to her that it's just 'a bit of fun' and seems quite unwilling to introduce her to his young son.

When she receives a phone call from her Auntie Sue saying that her Uncle Arthur has had an accident while driving his tractor she is devastated. She jumps on the next train to be with them and help out while her uncle is laid up. When she arrives there she feels guilty that her aunt and uncle have aged considerably, she realises this is due to the fact that she has not visited anywhere near as much as she should have in the past few years.

While she is there she feels the comfort of home, as she has always looked upon the farm as, and wonders whether there is anything really to return back to Kingsfield for.
As she contemplates her decision she uncovers a troubling secret that puts the future of Appleby Farm in jeopardy. be back in another Cathy Bramley novel, well, I felt a bit like Freya, it's like being back home. There are not many writers that can put you at ease and entertain you like Cathy. She draws you in to the story and the characters, but FYI, I can't stand Charlie (Freya's boyfriend). Freya however is wonderful, as are her friends, and I especially love Auntie Sue and would really love to have been sat around her kitchen table with them all.

I love the new lit trend for serialised novels, as much as I hate it that you're just drawn hook, line and sinker into a story and it ends, it's lovely to anticipate each part of the series coming out and there's not too long to wait for Appleby Farm part two as it is released on March 5th (phew) and it will be great to wait for each of the four parts in turn.

This new series gets off to a flying start and I really can't wait to read the rest! A definite 5* for Part One!


  1. I haven't read any of Cathy Bramley's books yet, I guess I'll have to get some ordered! Lovely review and so nice to see you blogging again : ) x

    1. My first comment! Thanks lovely!
      I'm positive you'll enjoy Cathy's books, not one has been less than perfect x

  2. I would have been your first comment if it wasn't for iPad being a pain and eating it,lol. I was just wondering why I hadn't seen any book reviews from you lately and now you have a brand new blog. I love the blog title. Good review looks like another I need on my tbr list.

  3. That's so frustrating! Well thank you for trying, Anne! I'm hopefully back now with a renewed mojo :D
    I do think you'd enjoy this, definitely add it to your TBR!