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The Sweetest Thing - Cathy Woodman

I have to confess that for the first few pages I wasn't sure that I was going to enjoy this book but, I'm not one to just give up on a book without giving it a chance and I'm glad that I kept going because, within another couple of pages, I was hooked.

Jennie Copeland is newly divorced and living in the suburbs of London with her three children. After the divorce she decides she needs a fresh start and so she buys a ramshackle old house on the outskirts of the village of Talyton St George. There, she sets up a wonderful cake-making business but sadly country life is not quite as idyllic as she hoped it would be. She has to contend with cows, a pony, some chickens, a dog, nosey neighbours, a stroppy teenage son and the farmer next door, Guy Barnes, who doesn't think she'll last a year in the countryside. Will it all be too much for her to cope with? Will things ever settle down enough for her to finally find happiness and could Guy be the man to help her find that happiness?

I found this book hugely enjoyable and I felt I could easily identify with all the characters. At first I found Jennie a bit annoying - a typical townie in the country - but that is exactly what she's meant to be. Guy is a typical farmer and I warmed to both of them very quickly. The two little girls are adorable and even Adam, underneath his stroppy teeange exterior, is a very likeable boy.

This book is a lovely, easy read but be warned, once you get into it, it's very hard to put down. It's funny, sad, moving and uplifting in equal measures. Because Jennie is setting up a cake-making business each chapter is named after one of her cakes and the cakes are described throughout the relevant chapter. They sound absolutely delicious and I would have loved to have tried each one out myself (not great for the waistline). I give this book five stars and recommend it highly.

D x


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