If you are looking for a beautifully written story with lots of twists and turns, hidden secrets and dysfunctional families with a menagerie of farm yard animals then this is the book to check out. This is the first book I have read of Jan Ruth’s and I have to say that I was impressed with the style of writing and how the story pulls you in so you just have to know what is going on with everyone. The art of being able to keep the attention of the reader when a secret is within the main body of the story just waiting to be figured out can be difficult but Jan has done a great job. All the way through you are trying to guess what the big falling out could be about and I love how you are given snippets throughout to try and put the pieces together.
Alastair is the black sheep of his family. After a feud with his brother that started some 15 years ago he has tried to keep away from his old family home at Chathill. But after the breakdown of his marriage, partly due to revealing his big secret to his then wife, he has nowhere else to go so turns up hoping to stay – with his new, much younger, girlfriend in tow. From the first meeting between Alastair and George you can see that there is no love loss between them. You know that what ever it was that started this feud must have been pretty major.
Kate is recently widowed and wondering what to do with the rest of her life. She is constantly being taken advantage of by her family, her sister the most. Annemarie comes across as someone who refuses to believe they have to grow up – even with four children and a few failed marriages behind her – she is still just looking for someone to take care of her so she doesn’t have to. Plainly put she is very selfish and deserves a good kick up the backside to get her to see what she is doing to those around her. Kate needs to get away from it all, if just for a week, so decides to visit her sister-in-law Fran at Chathill. Her main aim is to go somewhere to relax but she also needs to talk to Fran about something that has been heavy on her mind since the death of her husband. She just never expected that this week would be the turning point in her life of where to go next.
When Kate and Alastair first meet they seem to have a certain connection straight from the off, a chemistry that neither can seem to really deny. Both have secrets to tell though that could hurt the ones they love and tear their families apart. When these secrets and lies both families keep hidden start to come to the surface you know that the journey Kate and Alastair go on is going to be filled with lots of twists and turns. They just have to decide whether the price paid for love is worth it in the end.
4 out of 5 stars.