Thursday, 26 September 2019

Guest Review: The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft

Alexia Kennedy interior decorator extraordinaire has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it s always dreamed of.
After months of fundraising, the villagers can t wait to see work get started but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.
But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.
However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village and their lives together again...


Review: I am a great fan of Sue Moorcroft’s work, and always look forward to her Christmas stories. This year, I have read two of her Christmas books, as I have caught up on this title, from a couple of years ago, that somehow had passed me by. As I could have predicted, I found myself quickly engrossed in this story and its characters and finished it all too soon. 

As with several of Sue’s books, this one is set in the small Cambridgeshire village of Middledip. Following the death of the landlady, the villagers have been fundraising to convert the rundown old Angel pub into a community cafe, due to be open in time for Christmas. Interior decorator and local girl Alexia is in charge of the project, hoping that success there could lead to a step up in her career. When the funds raised for the project are tragically stolen, along with several valuable architectural features of the old building, it seems all may be lost. However, Ben, a newcomer to the village, steps in to help Alexia in her efforts to continue with the cafe conversion as best she can. A woodsman by trade and a skilled builder, Ben is the nephew of Gabe, a long-time inhabitant of the village and backer of the project. As they work together to try and complete the job against all odds, and with other dramas playing out in the background, Alexia begins to wonder if the feelings awakening in her towards Ben might be reciprocated.

This is a wonderfully compelling story full of community spirit as well as Christmas spirit. There is lots going on and always the promise of romance. There is a spark between the main characters, Alexia and Ben, right from the start, but the author has put many stumbling blocks along the way for them so that the reader is kept guessing as to whether they might make it as a couple by the end of the book. There are many other more minor characters who come to the forefront at times with interesting storylines as well; their stories are skilfully woven into the main plot. Tension mounts as the Christmas deadline for the cafe opening draws closer; story telling at its best.


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