About the book, The Start of Something Wonderful
- Publisher : Boldwood Books (July 17, 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 344 pages
Autumn Laine has lost her creative sparkle. After losing her grandad and her job as an illustrator in quick succession, she is at a crossroads in life and needs a break. Spending time with her parents in Paris, even in the artistic community of Montmartre, doesn’t appear to be the answer.
So when her penpal, Rosie, invites her to stay in the Lake District, Autumn jumps at the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris. After all, where better to re-discover her creativity than the place which inspired her heroine, Beatrix Potter?
Arriving at the picturesque lakeside village of Willowdale, Autumn is swept up by the beauty and magic of the stunning landscape. Welcomed into the community with open arms, she slowly starts to feel like herself again as her creative instincts re-ignite.
But when she meets Dane, who has escaped to the Lakes for his own reasons, will Autumn’s walls come down to let someone in again after so long? Or will the secrets of her past continue to hold her back?
A new beginning is a daunting prospect, but could it be the start of something wonderful too..?
Join million-copy bestseller Jessica Redland for a brand new series, full of love, friendship and community.
Buy, read, and discuss this book:
About the author, Jessica Redland
Jessica Redland writes emotional but uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers
to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast where she lives with her husband, daughter and sprocker spaniel. Her Hedgehog Hollow series, set in a
hedgehog rescue centre, takes readers into the beautiful rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Connect with Jessica:
I’ve read a couple of Jessica Redland’s other titles, so I was happy to dive into her latest creation, The Start of Something Wonderful. I was not disappointed. The title character, Autumn, an artist whose biggest influence was Beatrix Potter, is in a period of flux -lost love, changes at work, the loss of her beloved grandfather. Even spending time in Paris isn’t jump-starting her creativity. This is a woman who needs a retreat, and her long-term friend Rosie offers one: come to the Lake District and find your sparkle again.
I really loved that the core relationship in this novel was of female friends, pen-pals who have never before met in person, but have been writing back and forth for a quarter of a century. In this age of texts and instant messages, the notion of a friendship that’s almost exclusively restricted to pen and paper is a romantic one. As a letter-writer myself, I really appreciated Redland’s choice to have Autumn and Rosie interact that way. As always, Redland writes her female characters with insight and delicacy, making them feel like women we might run into in the coffee shop or post office, and the male characters, Etienne the ex, and Dane the children’s book writer, are equally dimensional.
One place where Redland excels is in the description of places. Whether she’s talking about artsy Montmartre or the lush landscape of the Lake District, this author really makes you feel as if you’re there. In this novel we get to travel to both, and the experience is fantastic. Similarly, the detail of Rosie’s riding and the stables where she works and the progression of Autumn’s art are written very plausibly. I like that their avocations and vocations weren’t mere afterthoughts, but were integral parts of the story.
While this novel is, ostensibly, a romance, I found that the deeper relationships were friendship and family. Either way, it’s a deliciously satisfying read, light enough for a summer escape, but not at all insipid. Billed as the first in a new series, I can honestly say that this novel is The Start of Something Wonderful in more than just name.
Goes well with: hot tea and buttered popovers with strawberry jam.
Visit the Other Great Blogs on This Tour