The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake: Feast of rural delights, family dramas, warm friendships and enchanting romance - book review -
For too long, the ambitious, workaholic businesswoman has been focused almost solely on her career and now she has lost her connection not just with any kind of family life but with the world in general… has she left it too late to find lasting love and happiness?
As her fiftieth birthday draws near, high-flying freelance editor Emma Patrick’s life seems to be on a downward spiral.
Sit back, relax and tuck into a feelgood feast of rural delights, family dramas, warm friendships, enchanting romance, and the community spirit that helps to mend broken hearts, in an enchanting tale about the healing power of village life.
Cathy Lake, who is on a mission to write uplifting stories about strong women overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, provides a much-needed injection of hope, humour and cheer in this beautiful tale of a middle-aged woman facing a crossroads in her life.
Just when Emma starts to realise that she is sleepwalking through her days, and feeling confined within the walls of her small London flat, she receives a phone call from her beloved father Greg’s doctor warning her that he is becoming increasingly confused and may be showing the early signs of dementia.
He has always been her rock, the man she could rely on but now he needs her help and Emma decides to go back home to the countryside to spend some time with him. But returning to the village of Little Bramble in Surrey, after years away, is filled with complications and there are people she would rather avoid.
To her surprise, Emma quickly settles in again and finds herself loving village life. When the opportunity to get involved in the running of the summer fête comes her way, she is soon embracing jam-making, cake baking and bunting.
And with an unexpected romance brewing, Emma begins to have doubts about the glamorous city life that she worked so hard to build…
Village life in all its rich colour, cosy togetherness and shared endeavour forms the captivating backdrop to a story that shines a light on community, friendship and family without losing sight of some of reality’s dark corners and the emotional complexities of everyday life and relationships.
Everyone has their own particular problems but through love, understanding, compassion and caring, Lake demonstrates that it’s never too late to turn a corner, leave the past behind and forge a new and better future.
With a gentle romance, a cast of charming characters – not least a gregarious greyhound called Harmony – The Country Village Summer Fete is perfectly created for long, summer days.
(Zaffre, paperback, £7.99)