Little Woodford by Catherine Jones
Published: 1st March 2018
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Available on Kindle
Trouble comes to the sleepy market town of Little Woodford - a world of allotments, pub quizzes, shopping and gossip - the heart of middle England.
Little Woodford has a sleepy high street, a weekly market, a weathered old stone church and lovingly tended allotments. A peaceful, unexciting place, the very heart of middle England.
In Little Woodford no one has fingers in more pies than Olivia Laithwaite, parish councillor, chair of the local WI, wife, mother and all round queen bee. So of course it's Olivia who is first to spot that The Beeches has been sold at last.
Soon rumours begin to swirl around the young widow who has bought this lovely house. Why exactly did she leave London with her beautiful stepdaughter and young sons? Are they running from someone? Hiding something? Though if they are, they won't be the only ones. Sometimes the arrival of newcomers in a community is all it takes to light a fuse...
Little Woodford by Catherine Jones is a novel which perfectly captures the essence of small English towns and the plethora of secrets hidden among the residents. Little Woodford itself is the quintessential English village which very much reminded me of locations in Midsummer Murders. Like many of these villages there is the rich /poor divide with some living in huge houses at one end and those who live on the council estate at the other.
Little Woodford focuses mainly on the lives of four women for varying parts of the village, Bex, Heather, Olivia and Amy. Bex Millar has recently moved to the village into the villages premier home The Beeches with her two young boys and step-daughter Megan, but just what are they hiding. Olivia is a local councillor and lives in another of the large houses The Grange, she’s so involved with keeping the village in order that she fails to see the destruction happening right under her own roof. Heather is the Vicar’s wife’s and one the villages’ cheeriest people, but with husband Brain becoming more and more withdrawn Heather is finding it hard to keep a smile on her face when dealing with others. The final woman is Amy, a single-mum who lives on the council estate with son Ashley and knows the other three women as she cleans for them. When boyfriend Billy starts spending more time and money around Amy doubts about their relationship start to creep in. All four of these women find that despite appearances, not everyone life is as perfect as they are making it out to be.
Little Woodford is one of those books where you can totally immerse yourself in the lives of others, the writing is so detailed that everything just came to life for me. I loved the beginning of the book and getting to know all the main characters, but I did feel the middle part of the book dragged a little bit, with perhaps too much unnecessary detail. However, I really love the second half of this novel where everyone’s secrets are divulged and there are few twists before everything is wrapped up nicely at the end. I felt there was also potential for the author to write a second book as some of the endings could easily be developed more.
Little Woodford is a book full of village life, keeping secrets and learning that the grass isn’t always greener in behind the closed door of the big house. It’s a book I enjoyed very much and can recommend to anyone who enjoys books with many different storylines which all connect seamlessly at the end.
Thank you to Head of Zeus for sending me a copy to review and for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.
About the Author
Catherine Jones lives in Thame, where she is an independent Councillor. She is the author of eighteen novels, including the Soldiers' Wives series, which she wrote under the pseudonym Fiona Field.
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