Wednesday 23 November 2016

Guest Review: Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley

Holly Swift has just landed the job of her dreams: events co-ordinator at Wickham Hall, the beautiful manor home that sits proudly at the heart of the village where she grew up. Not only does she get to organise for a living and work in stunning surroundings, but it will also put a bit of distance between Holly and her problems at home.

As Holly falls in love with the busy world of Wickham Hall - from family weddings to summer festivals, firework displays and Christmas grottos - she also finds a place in her heart for her friendly (if unusual) colleagues.

But life isn’t as easily organised as an event at Wickham Hall (and even those have their complications…). Can Holly learn to let go and live in the moment? After all, that’s when the magic happens…

Review: Another triumph from Cathy Bramley to add to my ever growing collection. I waited in anticipation for this book to be published and wolfed it down in quick time. As you may gather, I'm quite a fan of Cathy's work, and this latest story did not disappoint. It was originally published as a four-part e-serial, but is now available as a complete package.

The central character in the book, Holly Swift, has landed her dream job as assistant to the events' organiser at her local stately home, Wickham Hall, situated near to Stratford upon Avon. She lives in the nearby village with her mother, Lucy, but there is a bit of friction at home due to her mother's hoarding habit. Holly, however, is a very tidy and organised person, well suited to her professional role. Mum and daughter have visited the Hall regularly throughout Holly's life, so this is also an asset to her in her new job. Wickham Hall sounds a very grand place, with amazing grounds, but very busy with day visitors and events, making it a big job for Holly when the events' organiser leaves her in the lurch from her very first day in the job. When heir to the manor and budding artist Benedict returns to the Hall after living away for some time, life gets even more interesting for Holly. Other people we meet along the way include: the Hall's owners, Lord and Lady Fortescue; their grown daughter Zara; Holly's best friend and local boutique owner Esme; and various members of staff who work with Holly at the Hall and are an interesting group of characters in their own right.

This is a lovely feel-good story full of lovely characters. I really warmed to them all, even the slightly snobbish Lady Fortescue and the somewhat difficult to please gift shop manager. I loved Lord Fortescue's quiet tolerance of his wife's moods and his ability to hide away from his 'duties'. Most of all, I particularly liked Holly, with her amazing organisational skills and quick-thinking problem solving abilities, and the dishy and amusing Benedict. I would recommend this as a good addition to your reading list and a wonderful introduction to Cathy Bramley's work for those new to her books. 

If you like the sound of that click here to get it for yourself!

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