Anyone who read and loved Heidi Swain’s gorgeous 2018 novel, Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square, will already know the small community living in this cosy corner of Norwich.
And if you yearn to catch up with some familiar names – and a few new ones – then the queen of feelgood is back with another fabulous summer sparkler brimming with sunshine, friendship, love… and lots of food, glorious food!
Swain, who lives with her family in beautiful south Norfolk, won thousands of hearts with her enchanting stories set in Wynbridge, the fictional Fenland town where love blossoms whatever the season.
And now she has found an idyllic city hideaway for heartwarming and entertaining stories which showcase her talent for blending escapist romance, culinary delights, and a perfectly imagined cast of characters, with some real-life challenges in the modern world.
In Poppy’s Recipe for Love, we get up close and personal with the adorable Poppy, the warm and kindly assistant at the Greengages grocery shop, whose dream of living in Nightingale Square is finally coming true.
Things haven’t always been straightforward in Poppy’s life. With a nightmare mother who married again and seems to have no maternal instincts, Poppy dropped out of university six years ago, made a new life for herself, and began work at the grocer’s, preparing her own recipe cards using produce from the shop.
And now, after a few hiccups, she is moving into a cottage in beautiful Nightingale Square, close to the local community garden at nearby Prosperous Place, the Victorian mansion owned by Poppy’s friends Kate and Luke, and the place where she can grow produce to indulge her passion for making preserves and pickles.
Poppy is content… she may not have the best relationship with her family but she is surrounded by loving friends, and feels sure that even her grumpy new neighbour, Jacob, has more to him than his the steely, unforgiving exterior he displays to all the square’s residents.
But the unexpected arrival of Poppy’s troubled younger stepbrother, 16-year-old Ryan, soon threatens her new-found happiness and as the garden team works together to win community space of the year, Poppy must decide where her priorities lie and what she is prepared to fight for…
Bestseller Swain is on her best feelgood, foodie form as Poppy’s story blossoms amidst a shower of domestic dramas, romantic turmoil and teenage angst. Love – whether that is family love or romantic love – is always in the air in Nightingale Square, and laughter, tears and smiles are guaranteed from start to finish.
As well as getting the latest news on Kate, Luke and other characters from our first visit to Nightingale Square, readers can also share some moving moments, not least Poppy’s burgeoning relationships with troubled stepbrother Ryan and the enigmatic, man-of-mystery Jacob.
Add on some mouthwatering chutney, piquant piccalilli, barbecues, beers, and the gardeners’ paradise conjured up in Prosperous Place, and Poppy’s Recipe for Life serves up the tastiest dish of the summer!
(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £7.99)