Monday, December 2, 2013

Country Loving by Cathy Woodman

Morning, all! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Cathy Woodman's Country Loving!

Stevie is shocked to hear of the state of the family farm. Her relationship with her father has been rocky ever since she left for London at eighteen, but in the months since her mother's death they've barely talked. It's still a surprise to hear that he's recovering from a stroke and that the farm is suffering for it. After warnings from the local vet Stevie's father is threatened with losing Nettlebed Farm and worse: possible imprisonment for animal cruelty. Stevie'd planned to help out for a weekend but ultimately decides to leave behind the big city and take up the reigns managing the farm herself. With plans to diversify and hopefully save the family business, Stevie's ruffled more than a few feathers in Talyton St. George. She can count at least one ally on her side, though, the same vet who once vowed to see her father behind bars. 

Based on Cathy Woodman's title list it would seem there's an abundance of vets in Talyton St. George! This is my introduction to her work, though, and I must say it was quite a charming read. It did bring to mind a lot of the city slicker trendy films of the 80s (Diane Keaton's Baby Boom in particular though Stevie isn't quite a fish out of water) and even hints of Doc Martin (without the crazy medical cases and weirdo villagers).

This one was quite fun. First, I never knew that much about cows. Haha! Second, Stevie takes each challenge in stride and is admirable in both her tenacity and her dealings with her father (and the locals). And finally, her relationship with Leo builds nicely - not too quickly or unbelievably.

The town and the story are filled with a number of other characters and Woodman spends a good amount of time fleshing them out as well, giving the reader a chance to sort of feel like they actually are experiencing the real village life: waiting in traffic behind crossing cows, eating one of Jennie's droolworthy cakes, guarding themselves from Bear's teeth... maybe not so much the grueling farm work, though. I don't think anyone can truly understand that unless they've got the sore muscles to go with it.

Woodman now has seven titles set in Talyton St. George. I realized as well that Sweetest Thing is Jennie and Guy's story - they're Stevie's neighbors in Country Loving. It'll be nice to return to the village again in a few days with their tale.

Rating: 3.5/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. Check back here on December 16 for my review of The Sweetest Thing.

For more on Cathy and her books, be sure to visit her website here. And for excerpts and more be sure to visit Great British Reads.


Cathy Woodman said...

Hello Becky. Thank you very much for featuring Country Loving on your blog. I hope you enjoy your next visit to Talyton St George.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I've always enjoyed these city-to-country stories - they remind me why I'm firmly a suburb kind of girl. :)

Thanks for being on the tour!