Author: Cathy Woodman
Publisher: Arrow,Random House in UK – September 2013
Source: Publisher vis TLC Book Tours
My Rating: B
I liked this novel a lot. It gave me the chance to spend some time on a dairy farm in Devon (south of London). I like stories where things are a mess and the main character comes in and fixes them. That’s what happened here.
Stevie is an accountant living the good life in London. She even has a nice boyfriend who wants her to marry him. But a call from the farm where she grew up causes her to go back for, she thinks, just a few days.
When Stevie and her boyfriend get to the farm Stevie sees that the farm has definitely gone downhill. The buildings are in disrepair, the cows are skinny, and the Animal Welfare people are threatening to take them away. They could impose a hefty fine on her father and, perhaps, send him to prison.
Stevie is heartsick. She loves this farm. The only reason she left was because her father was so hard to get along with. His disposition hasn’t improved. Things are even worse because her father had a stroke and a broken arm. He can’t physically handle the work but he still wants to dictate how things are to be done.
Stevie is a plucky young woman. She’s a great character. She’s knowledgeable about animals and the operation of the dairy farm. Although she has a hard time handling her father, Stevie is persistent. However, when it comes to her boyfriend, it took her too long, in my opinion, to tell him she wasn’t going to marry him. She knew from the start it would be a mistake.
Finally Stevie gives up both the boyfriend and her job in the city. She has too much farm girl in her to tie herself to a city-boy or let the farm go down the tubes. She also has dreams of how great her farm could be. She’s even thinking about attracting tourists to the farm. I haven’t told you the whole story. I’m not spoiling it for you. It’s all quite exciting.
As I said at the beginning, I really liked my time on the dairy farm. For some reason it reminded me of All Creatures Great and Small which I haven’t read in decades. I think it was the combination of the English countryside and the approach to the animals. It also helps that the author, Cathy Woodman, is also small animal vet.
Country Loving is the sixth book in the author’s series set around this fictional town of Talyton St.George. I have the first book, The Sweetest Thing, in the series, but I’m only half-way through it. You’ll have to wait to hear my opinion on it. In the meantime, I strongly recommend Country Loving to you. It stands alone and doesn’t need the other books in the series to make it complete.