Published by Orion
Available in ebook and paperback (25 July 2019)
Source: Copy provided for review by publisher
ABOUT THE BOOK
Sunshine, cider and family secrets…
Dragonfly Farm has been a home and a haven for generations of Melchiors – arch rivals to the Culbones, the wealthy family who live on the other side of the river. Life there is dictated by the seasons and cider-making, and everyone falls under its spell.
For cousins Tabitha and Georgia, it has always been a home from home. When a tragedy befalls their beloved Great-Uncle Matthew, it seems the place where they’ve always belonged might now belong to them…
But the will reveals that a third of the farm has also been left to a Culbone. Gabriel has no idea why he’s been included, or what his connection to the farm – or the Melchiors – can be.
As the first apples start to fall for the cider harvest, will Dragonfly Farm begin to give up its secrets?
A Home from Home is the very best of Veronica Henry’s storytelling – gorgeous scenes you wish you could step into, a cast of characters who feel like friends, and an irresistibly feel-good family drama crossing three generations.
My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to take part and to the publisher for providing the review copy.
I’ve read so many of Veronica’s books over the years and she’s very much a firm favourite in my author list. To me, her books are ‘comfort reads’ and I mean that in the nicest possible way. You know exactly what you are getting – a humorous and engaging story, a myriad of differing characters and a satisfying plotline that pulls them all together.
The Melchiors of Dragonfly Farm and the Culbones of Rushbrook House had been enemies for generations across opposite sides of the river, and there was no sign of the rift being healed any time soon in spite of the efforts of the newly installed incumbent of Rushbrook. Dash Culbone, who, unlike the reputation awarded to some of his predecessors, did seem to be a thoroughly decent chap. However when the owner of Dragonfly Farm, Matthew Melchior dies suddenly, his Will leaves the farm in equal shares to his great –niece Tabitha and her cousin Georgia .…and to a Culbone whom no-one has ever heard of, Gabriel.
Tabitha lived with Matthew (known as ‘Gum’) and his late wife Joy, and had been a bit of a wild child, and you could still see that in her now. She didn’t conform, had her own way of doing things, was extremely strong-willed and outspoken but had a vulnerable side that few saw. She had loved Gum and Joy dearly and was especially lost without Gum. She knew exactly how to work the land and how to produce the cider, and was devastated at the thought that she might lose the farm – especially to a Culbone! For his part Gabriel had no idea why he had been left a share as he had never heard of Matthew however this unexpected windfall could just help solve his own personal and financial problems.
There are a lot of characters but the three main ones are Tabitha, Georgia and Gabriel, all with their own stories, ambitions and dreams. But the story isn’t just about them; their families – both the Melchiors and the Culbones also feature heavily and the narrative goes back and forth over a few decades to give a complete picture of how everything fits together and how they come to be in the present situation. It’s quite an absorbing family saga, full of drama and tragedy. There were some parts that I had worked out however there were more surprises to come.
Set in Somerset, the location sounds idyllic, especially Dragonfly with its apple orchards and the nearby river. Beautifully described, the setting alone will draw you in. And, as for the thought of that celebration sparkling apple cider……..!
A Home from Home is written with warmth and humour. It’s a story that you can happily lose yourself in for a few hours and I really didn’t want to put it down to do ‘life things’ like work!
Engaging characters, a beautiful setting, an intriguing story – I loved this and it may well be one of my favourite books by Veronica Henry todate. I didn’t want it to come to an end and could quite happily have read more. I do hope there is a sequel at some time. I would love to see how the Melchiors and Culbones fare in future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Veronica Henry has worked as a scriptwriter for THE ARCHERS, HEARTBEAT and HOLBY CITY amongst many others, before turning to fiction. She won the 2014 RNA NOVEL OF THE YEAR AWARD for A NIGHT ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Veronica lives with her family in a village in north Devon.
Find out more at www.veronicahenry.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @veronica_henry