April Wilson is wondering what to do next – her life has been turned upside down after the loss of her husband so she’s hoping to piece herself together again with a visit to her elderly great aunt, Edith.
Arriving in the rural idyll of Tindledale, she’s dismayed to find Edith’s cottage and the orchard behind it in a sorry state of disrepair. Edith seems to have lost interest completely, instead she’s become desperate to find out what happened to her sister, Winnie, who disappeared during WWII.April gets to work immediately, discovering that the orchard still delivers a bumper crop each year, and with the help of some of the villagers – including Matt, the enigmatic Farrier – begins to unravel the mystery of the missing Winnie. Slowly, April can feel things coming to life again – but can Orchard Cottage work its magic on her too?
Review: This is the latest in a series of books by Alex Brown set in the village of Tindledale. However, even if you haven't read the others in the series it shouldn't spoil your enjoyment of this story, although it might make you want to go back and catch up with some of the interesting characters in earlier tales.
The central character in this book is April Wilson, who has relatively recently lost her dear husband to a long and debilitating disease and is finding life very difficult. Her stepdaughter, Nancy, finally convinces April to go and visit her great aunt Edie, who lives in Orchard Cottage in the picturesque and remote village of Tindledale. April spent many childhood summers in the village and is looking forward to returning. However, her visit lasts a lot longer than planned, as she deals with problems that have arisen due to her great aunt's deteriorating mental and physical state. Although this and having to solve the mystery of the fate of another family member she never knew existed are at times distressing, the cottage and the village as a whole gradually work their magic on April, and as she unravels everything, she comes back to life too.
This story deals with some serious matters, but still manages to leave you feeling positive and happy. Some of the zany village characters that we met in earlier books about Tindledale are there again, as well as some new ones. It certainly sounds an interesting village to visit, assuming you can find it of course.
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