Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Secret of Orchard Cottage – by Alex Brown + Q&A


Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb:

Discover the wonderfully warm and heartfelt new novel from Alex Brown, bestselling author of The Great Christmas Knit Off.

April Wilson is wondering what to do next – her life has been turned upside down after the loss of her husband so she’s hoping to piece herself together again with a visit to her elderly great aunt, Edith. Arriving in the rural idyll of Tindledale, she’s dismayed to find Edith’s cottage and the orchards surrounding it in a sorry state of disrepair. Edith seems to have lost interest completely, instead she’s become desperate to find out what happened to her sister, Winnie, who disappeared during WWII.

April gets to work immediately, discovering that the orchard still delivers a bumper crop each year, and with the help of some of the villagers – including Matt, the enigmatic Farrier – begins to unravel the mystery of the missing Winnie. Slowly,
April can feel things coming to life again – but can Orchard Cottage work its magic on her too?

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Alex Brown and Tindledale, that just screams YES!!! To me!!! So let’s get going.

Back in Tindledale we meet April Wilson. She is a young widow who decides to visit her great aunt Edith at Orchard Cottage in Tindledale. This brings something new into her life, especially because Edith seems to forget a lot and starts calling her Winnie.

April now wants to find out who Winnie is and starts discovering parts of the mystery. What April discovers is a lot, includes historical elements and cuts really deep. On the way to find out everything April meets a lot of the lovely villagers, who add so many sparks to the story. All the characters had their unique personality and Alex found a beautiful way to combine them all in this story.
April is a great character and her feelings were included in a very touching and sweet way.
This story is not only told from April’s point of view, which is awesome. It brought me closer to other characters as well.

Of course there are also some men in this story and lets just say I really enjoyed reading about them! ;)

Orchard Cottage is amazing and Alex’s writing just captures it all so beautifully. The scenes and moments were so warm, uplifting, full of passion and vivid. Alex really has a talent for that. This story is very different from the first two books set in Tindledale, but in a very good way. Alex added more deepness, complexity and emotions and still managed to make it all look sparkly and cute. The story is more serious, thoughtful and just shows how talented Alex Brown is!

Rating:




My possible cast:

April: Rachel DiPillo







































Alex Brown is the bestselling author of five books and launched her career with the hugely popular Carrington’s series set in a seaside town department store. Alex now writes warm, witty and heartfelt novels centred on the cosy community spirit of village life. Alex began her writing career as a weekly columnist for The London Paper, before trading in the rat race for the good life. The Secret of Orchard Cottage is Alex’s sixth book. When she isn’t writing Alex enjoys knitting, and is passionate about supporting charities working with care leavers, adoption and vulnerable young people. Alex lives in a rural village in Sussex, with her husband, daughter and a very shiny black Labrador. She loves hearing from her readers, so please visit her website – www.alexbrownauthor.com or join her for chats on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alexandrabrownauthor and Twitter @alexbrownbooks 

Author Interview with Alex Brown

1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

Yes, but growing up I never thought I could write an actual novel. As a child I used to write radio plays and record them on my granddad’s old reel-to-reel tape recorder, complete with sound effects. 

2.    How did your writing career develop?

I started writing seriously in 2006 and after thirty-nine rejections (yes I have a list) I got an incredibly lucky break when I won a competition to be the weekly City Girl columnist for the London Paper, I went on to write the column for two years before meeting my now editor at HarperCollins who worked with me to get my first novel ready for publication in 2013.   
  
3.    Your newest novel is called The Secret of Orchard Cottage, what is it about?

It’s about relationships, triumphing after tragedy, and ordinary women doing extraordinary things. Set in my beloved fictional village of Tindledale, it follows the story of April Wilson who, after the death of her husband, goes to visit her Great Aunt Edie in Orchard Cottage, where she finds the cottage and orchards surrounding it in a state of dilapidation. Edie has retreated into the past and has become obsessed with the mysterious disappearance of her sister Winnie, during the Second World War. April peels away the layers of neglect that have settled over the cottage to reveal the secrets beneath and unravel the mystery of missing Winnie while coming to terms with her loss and rebuilding her life ….

4.    What was your inspiration for the book?

Ahh, this is a tricky question to answer without giving the secret away for those that haven’t read The Secret of Orchard Cottage yet … sooooo, let’s just say that I’ve always been inspired by the tremendous bravery of ordinary women during the Second World War.       

5.    Where and when do you write your books?

I write in my office from around 11ish in the morning until about 5ish every weekday. But during the final week or so before my deadline I write all day, through to very late at night, stopping only to sleep as I find it quite stressful to come out of the story into the real world at that stage.

6.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

I spend most of my time writing, but when I take some time off in between books then I love watching TV and listening to Northern Soul music. I go to Northern Soul events and scour the internet looking for rare vinyl Northern Soul and Motown records. I also enjoy knitting and spending time with my husband, and watching Disney films with QT (my daughter). 

7.    What are you working on at the moment?

I’m writing a short story called Not Just For Christmas. It’s about Kitty, the owner of the Spotted Pig Café in Tindledale, and what happens when her late soldier husband’s black Labrador is retired from service and needs a home for Christmas.    

8. What do you enjoy most about writing?

The escapism. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer and I like the solitude too, the peace and quiet.

9. Coffee or tea?

Tea for sure. Rooibos or camomile.

10. Paperback or e-reader?

Both. Depends on my mood and the type of book I’m reading.

11. Mountains or the sea?

Sea definitely. The last time I was up a mountain I ended up with a severe nose bleed and had to be chair-lifted back down. 

12. Summer or winter?

Summer. I’m not good in cold weather.

13. Sweet or salty?

Hmm, can I be greedy and say both please? :)

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