Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're joining the masses as we welcome Rachel's Random Resources and Boldwood Books to celebrate the latest from author Judy Leigh. If you're a frequent visitor to my site, you've probably seen a post or two featuring her work before, so you know what a treat you're in store for; if not, surprises are grand too...especially when they're good ones! Ladies and gents, grab a cup of tea and a freshly baked scone with jam or cream as we take a look between the pages of today's featured title...
The Vintage Village Bake Off
About the book...
Now in his seventies, Robert Parkin is stunned to find himself the unlikely sex symbol of the village gardening club.
Living in happy solitude with his cat Isaac Mewton in the Devon village of Millbrook, entertained by his mischievous chickens and goats, Robert has never figured out the rules of romance. But as the local ladies vie for his company, it soon becomes clear that Robert’s Victoria Sponge cake is the lure, and as his baking prowess grows, so does his confidence.
Cheesecakes, meringues, puddings, Robert can do it all, but his real masterpieces are his scones – ginger, rosemary, coconut, fruit, his recipes are inspired and soon come to the attention of the local media. Which county does the best cream tea – Devon or Cornwall? It’s time for an age-old debate to be settled with a competition.
Robert’s sisters Bunty and Hattie are both at crossroads in their lives, so news of their brother’s baking competition is the perfect excuse to bring them to Millbrook. And as the siblings relish each other’s company, and Robert relishes being at the heart of his community, a summer of scones may just light the way to long-lasting happiness for them all.
Enjoy Judy Leigh’s wonderful world of family, friendship and feasting in this perfect feel-good story for all fans of Maddie Please, Dawn French and Caroline James.
Okay, okay, as much as the synopsis makes this seem like the story is predominantly about Robert, it's not! Yes, he's a key player, but his siblings share the spotlight equally as much, if not more so...and that's just the way we like it.
This is a character driven story...that is to say there's a story/plot line, but without this fascinating sibling trio, it'd be just another story. Robert is the brother that was always there, but more so in the background. He is a lovely man with a kind heart, knowledge to share, and great baking as well as gardening skills. What he lacked was more in the presence department. He didn't speak up, stand out, or rock the boat...for better or worse, or in this case, for the worst of his sister Hattie. No, she was pressed into a doomed marriage because no one had the gall to stand up for her, let alone would she stand up for herself. Which brings us to Hattie...whom I was rooting for from the very start. I love how we meet her, though the emotional turmoil she's in isn't pleasant, because we can see that while her sparkle may have been dimmed by the louse she was married to for so long, she was still there shining like a diamond underneath. All she needed for a little care, and her moment to shine...which THANK GOODNESS she gets in spades. In the mean time, her soft heart allows more shenanigans from her younger sister, Bunty, but it's not a kindness that goes completely to waste. Realizations are made, progress is reached for, and when the cards eventually fall, everything is as it should be. As for Bunty, she came off as the spoiled younger sibling that she was, not taking anything too seriously unless it was all about her, and yet she still had some redeeming qualities even if they were harder to find.
So you see, they were all STRONG characters, and they certainly left their mark on me, which can be a hard task considering I read so much! It's hard enough at times to remember the character names, let alone specific traits, after a book ends, but I have a feeling this trio will stick with me for a while. If you're looking for your next read this holiday season, or perhaps a gift for the Women's Fiction fan in your life, this is definitely a book I wouldn't pass over, and an author I'd make room for in your reading world!
About the author...
Judy Leigh is the bestselling author of Five French Hens, A Grand Old Time and The Age of Misadventure and the doyenne of the ‘it’s never too late’ genre of women’s fiction. She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.
Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you, and for the ecopy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this promotion, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today and be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more bookish fun!
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!