Book Reviews

The Secret of Orchard Cottage by Alex Brown

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List Price: £7.99


Paperback: 400 Pages.

Published: 02 June 2016 by HarperCollins

Edition: ePub edition

ISBN: 9780007597420

EAN: 9780007597420

The wonderful new novel from Alex Brown, bestselling author of The Great Christmas Knit Off,


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Had Further Potential Whic Wasn't Developed

This is the story of April, a middle aged woman who visits her

Great-Aunt in the village of Tindledale. April was widowed about 18

months previously which is, understandably, still quite raw. Whilst

there, April tries the solve the mystery of what happened to Winnie, her

other great-aunt who disappeared during the war.

This is the type of

book that you have a fair idea of how it will end before you've

started.It is rather on predictable side & it is very obvious who

will form a relationship with who. The mystery of Winnie is a nice

addition to this fairly predictable story but I don't think that the

author really did credit to this section of the story.

There are just

so many threads and characters in this story that the mystery of Winnie

gets pushed rather into the background. We have April and her

widowhood, Great Aunt Edie, various local characters that April makes

friends with, the knitting circle, Bella a young 13 year old that April

befriends, Nancy April's step-daughter and local men Harvey & Matt

who are vying for April's attentions. Add into that the people who take

Edie dancing including the General who does some research for April,

Molly at the Butchers and my head was whirling. If some of the

characters and the threads, such as Bella's bullying and the state of

the abandoned horses, had been omitted then there would have been more

time to develop Winnie's story. The solving of the mystery got rather

squeezed into the end of the book and it felt very rushed. There was so

much more interesting detail that could have been developed to create a

real atmosphere for the story of Winnie but this opportunity was missed.


characters in this book are fairly generic. They are the sort of

characters that you find in books of this type - doddery old woman

getting forgetful, a local lothario, village busybody, nice people in

the village and so on. The one thing that I really did like was the fact

that April was not young. Often in this style of book the main

character is fairly young and recently split up. Although we are never

told April's age I think it is fair to say late thirties at least. This

made a change from young, very pretty just twenty-something.


writing in this book is fairly average. There are some nice descriptions

especially of the orchard around the cottage and the general area but

they are nice as opposed to exceptional. I would have liked to see an

expanded vocabulary.

As books of this type go it was just on the higher side of average. It had the potential to be more but wasn't.

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