Cottage Two, Bracken Ridge Farm sits at the end of a pitted track, with the glorious Yorkshire moors stretching behind it.
Just a simple two up, two down, the cottage holds the promise of a new start for two very different women, but it is also full of secrets.
Fifty years ago, newly-wed Stella is relishing making the little cottage a happy home. But for all the lovingly handmade curtains, and the hot dinners ready on the table for her husband, Stella’s dreams of married life jar painfully with the truth.
Fifty years later, the cottage is a new beginning for Tamzin. Determined to get away from her previous life, she makes the move to the wild and vast Yorkshire countryside.
When Tamzin finds a sepia photo of a woman, Stella, standing in the cottage’s garden, there’s a sadness in her eyes that Tamzin recognises. As the cottage reveals more of its secrets, Tamzin is desperate to find out whether Stella got her happy ending. And as she gradually makes new friends, and starts to win over her mysterious neighbour Euan, Tamzin dares to dream about her own happy ending too…
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Stella, in 1973 is packing the leave the cottage she loves. Nearly fifty years later, Tamzin arrives at the same place to start a new life. Two women generations apart but with more in common than is immediately apparent.
The story is set in North Yorkshire and filled with descriptions of picturesque scenery and vibrant wildlife. It’s the characters that make this story so engaging. Tamzin running from her former life, is wary of others and is determined to live her life as she wants to. Euan lives in the neighbouring cottage. His unfriendliness masks a host of secrets that the story reveals. Jill is the person who helps Tamzin construct a run for her orphaned fox, but she is more critical as emotional support for both Euan and Tamzin and is a lovely character.
The developing friendships, healing and humour keep you turning the pages. The mystery surrounding Stella is heartbreaking, but thankfully Tamzin and Euan’s stories conclude in a hopeful way. I love the growing friendships, gentle romance and Euan and Tamzin’s emotional recovery facilitated by the cottage and the natural way of life. There are many sad moments, but ultimately it is uplifting.
Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home.