A Country Escape
Fran has always wanted to be a farmer. And now it looks as if her childhood dream is about to come true. She has just moved in to a beautiful but very run-down farm in the Cotswolds, currently owned by an old aunt who has told Fran that if she manages to turn the place around in a year, the farm will be hers. But Fran knows nothing about farming. She might even be afraid of cows.She's going to need a lot of help from her best friend Issi, and also from her wealthy and very eligible neighbour - who might just have his own reasons for being so supportive. Is it the farm he is interested in? Or Fran herself?Warm, funny and wonderfully romantic, this is Katie Forde at her very best.A YEAR IN THE COUNTRY. A YEAR TO FALL IN LOVE. The BRAND NEW deliciously romantic novel from the Sunday Times Number One Bestselling Author of A Summer At Sea and A Secret Garden.'Modern Day Austen. Great fun!' Red'Top-drawer romantic escapism' Daily Mail'Deliciously enjoyable' Woman & Home'Effortlessly lovable' Closer

A Country Escape Details

TitleA Country Escape
Author
ReleaseFeb 22nd, 2018
PublisherCentury
ISBN-139781780890890
Rating
GenreWomens Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance

A Country Escape Review

  • Rachel Gilbey
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful warm hug of a story, I felt completely at home reading this book right from the first pages and really didn't want it to end, as the characters were so lovely. It is such a shame that I'm not a fan of cheese, as I think this book is even better for those that can't live without cheese, as it is one of the main features of book. I have learnt far more about dairy farming and the making of soft cheese than I ever thought possible. This is just one in a long line of professions tha What a wonderful warm hug of a story, I felt completely at home reading this book right from the first pages and really didn't want it to end, as the characters were so lovely. It is such a shame that I'm not a fan of cheese, as I think this book is even better for those that can't live without cheese, as it is one of the main features of book. I have learnt far more about dairy farming and the making of soft cheese than I ever thought possible. This is just one in a long line of professions that I feel I know a lot better after reading a book by Katie Fforde. There are two potential heirs for Hill Top Farm, but its Fran who responds to the letter and agrees to live at the farm for a year and try to make it profitable in order to gain the inheritance as and when Mrs Flowers does pass away. I loved Frans regular visits to Amy Flowers, and it was clear she came to care for the old lady a great deal. Being a chef Fran's solutions to how to make more money from a dairy farm involved food, but none of her plans would ever come to anything without a large injection of cash.There are some adorable scenes involving baby animals, and even if Fran isn't a native farmer she does clearly care about animals, although I'm not sure she will ever love the cows. She does love the views on the farm, and I loved seeing her determination to turn the farm around, along with her best friend. Easily one of my favourite books by this always talented author, I loved every second of A Country Escape and it almost made me want to leave London in order to become a farmer myself. Thank you to Cornerstone Digital and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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  • Melisa Broadbent
    January 1, 1970
    What a gorgeous book. I always look forward to a new Katie Fforde book and this one didn't disappoint.With an idyllic setting and characters that you are genuinely rooting for, I loved getting immersed in the lovely story of Fran, Antony, Isi, Trig and not forgetting Amy.This was just the type of book that you can pick up and immediately get lost in - I did!A lovely story with equally lovely characters, I'm already looking forward to the next.
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  • Clare
    January 1, 1970
    With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.Londoner Fran is as a chef, she works in a pub but her dream is to own her own restaurant. One day she receives a letter from her distant cousin Amy Flowers with an interesting proposition. Amy was widowed at a early age and and never had children of her own. Now Amy is elderly and is unable to cope with Hilltop Farm where she has lived for all her adult life. Amy traced her family tree and found Fr With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.Londoner Fran is as a chef, she works in a pub but her dream is to own her own restaurant. One day she receives a letter from her distant cousin Amy Flowers with an interesting proposition. Amy was widowed at a early age and and never had children of her own. Now Amy is elderly and is unable to cope with Hilltop Farm where she has lived for all her adult life. Amy traced her family tree and found Fran and another relative Roy who lives in Australia. She wrote to Fran and Roy explaining she would be staying in a nursing home for 6 months and during this time she needed help managing the farm. Amy did not hear from Roy, so she told Fran if she made a success of the farm after 6 months she would inherit Hilltop Farm when the time cameFran is a townie at heart and knows little about farming and is afraid of cows. However Fran knows she would always of wondered if she could of succeeded at farming. So she resigned from her job and moved to Hilltop Farm.When Fran arrives at Hilltop Farm with her Iggy her best friend she finds out the farm is run down. Amy had taken a loan for the farm and now Fran has to find money for the next payment.Amy is a cantankerous old lady who misses nothing, She warns Fran to be careful of Anthony who is her next door neighbour and ' Lord of the Manor'. Anthony had offered to buy Hilltop Farm on multiple occasions but Amy refused suspecting he wanted to destroy her farm and build a vineyard. Fran finds that Anthony is actually quite kind. He offers to lend her money to repair the road outside the farm, reluctantly she accepts the offer but has to find a way to generate money for the farmFran starts making soft cheese from the farms surplus milk and makes a deal with local restaurateurs. She also holds a local supper club which showed her cooking skills and her farms produce. Just as Fran is settling into life as a farmer Roy arrives on the scene to claim his inheritance. Roy is only interested in the money he would make on selling the land, how can Fran save the farm in six months? I always enjoy the characters in Katie's books. A Country Escape with its bucolic setting was no exception. I liked Fran who arrived at the farm with Kath Kidson wellies but determined to succeed. I also liked Anthony who wanted to buy the farm but was willing to help Fran with her cheese making venture. I am a animal lover and the scenes with Fran and Anthony bottle feeding the puppies during the small hours made my heart melt. My favourite scenes were with Fran and Amy in the old people's home. First of all I think Amy Flowers is a lovely name. I was instantly drawn to the prickly Amy who was tough on the outside and soft inside. A determined lady who managed to maintain the farm for all these years on her own after the death of her husband.I recommend A Country Escape and all Katie Fforde's other books.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    It's always a huge treat picking up a new Katie Fforde book. She has such a lovely, easy writing style that you soon lose yourself deep in the story with wonderful characters and beautiful settings. Fran has received a letter from a distant relative saying that should she be able to make a success of a dairy farm she will inherit the farmhouse and the herd. There is another relative from Australia who is being made the same offer and we are not sure that either will be able to turn the farm arou It's always a huge treat picking up a new Katie Fforde book. She has such a lovely, easy writing style that you soon lose yourself deep in the story with wonderful characters and beautiful settings. Fran has received a letter from a distant relative saying that should she be able to make a success of a dairy farm she will inherit the farmhouse and the herd. There is another relative from Australia who is being made the same offer and we are not sure that either will be able to turn the farm around in time.Fran is a chef by trade and she decides that due to problems on the farm she needs to make cheesemaking a big money spinner. Money is tight but with her friends help Fran has a few ideas to raise their profile in the community. I loved the evening at the farmhouse and the romance in the air. I take my daughter to a daycare farm once a week and the cows are our favourite there, so I could visualise the lovely herd at the farm and the love for the animals.The farm sounded so lovely- in need of some tender loving care but with such potential for it to be wonderful.The distant relative is an awkward old lady but she's a lovely character and we wonder whether she will choose Fran or the Australian chap. They want different things for the farms future and we are really routing for Fran as she falls in love with the farm.
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  • Anne Fraser
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book. I especially enjoyed it as I live in Bristol not far from the Cotswolds where this book is set. Indeed one of my grandfather's sisters married a farmer and made butter and cream in her Cotswold dairy. It was a fine read for a cold winter's evening with a handsome hero and a villain to hiss at..Twenty-seven year old Fran who has been working as a chef in London has a year to prove to a distant relative that she is a fit person to inherit I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book. I especially enjoyed it as I live in Bristol not far from the Cotswolds where this book is set. Indeed one of my grandfather's sisters married a farmer and made butter and cream in her Cotswold dairy. It was a fine read for a cold winter's evening with a handsome hero and a villain to hiss at..Twenty-seven year old Fran who has been working as a chef in London has a year to prove to a distant relative that she is a fit person to inherit a Cotswold dairy farm and that she can make it pay. She is helped in this by her best friend Issy who just happens to be a grass expert and her handsome rich neighbour. Anthony. Pure escapism.
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  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a big fan of Katie Fforde and I am pleased to say her latest novel did not disappoint, it is full of heart with characters you care about. A great read from the queen of women’s fiction. If you’re a fan of this genre, you don’t want to miss this - it’s a light but big hearted read.
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  • Emma Crowley
    January 1, 1970
    What would you do when presented with a challenge that you would never have seen heading in your direction in a million years? An opportunity that couldn't be furthest from your current lifestyle? Something that will test you to your limits, try your patience and call on qualities you never knew you had in you? These are the questions/thoughts running through the mind of Fran as she pulls up at Hill Top Farm with her friend Issi for a year she will never forget. A year that will push her to the What would you do when presented with a challenge that you would never have seen heading in your direction in a million years? An opportunity that couldn't be furthest from your current lifestyle? Something that will test you to your limits, try your patience and call on qualities you never knew you had in you? These are the questions/thoughts running through the mind of Fran as she pulls up at Hill Top Farm with her friend Issi for a year she will never forget. A year that will push her to the very edges of her capabilities with lots of trials and tests sent her way. But will she have the strength of spirit and determination on her side as well as an abundance of kindness deep rooted in her heart to make it through the test as set down by her very distant cousin Amy.In Katie Fforde's new book the title of A Country Escape certainly lives up to the content between the fun, colourful cover as I really enjoyed a pleasurable, fun filled few hours in the company of Fran. She has agreed to spend a year running the farm, even though she hasn't the first clue about farming, for her Aunt who is now in a nursing home. Said Aunt had no one to leave the farm too and she doesn't wish her herd of dairy short horns and their lineage to die out. No male relatives could be found so the task falls to Fran and ever one to relish a challenge she agrees admittedly against the better judgement of many others.I have a been a long time fan of Katie Fforde's books but was slightly apprehensive about reading this one. Normally I would read everything she has written no questions asked but I didn't enjoy her last full length novel last year as much as her others. But at the end of her festive short story collection there was a sneak preview of A Country Escape and from those few pages I knew I had to read this book. Right from the beginning I just got a good feeling about this book and it really didn't abate the further I got into the story. It's fun, light-hearted and above all else inspires good feelings and warm thoughts. Once I picked it up I couldn't leave it out of my hands as I was eager to discover would Fran go the whole distance and make a success of the farm or would there be too many obstacles placed in her way and therefore everything would fall apart?This book proved to me that it's always worth giving an author another go even if you hadn't enjoyed their last book as much as you normally do. The basic plot of inheriting after a year seems to be a common theme for books this year as I have already read two or three others with a similar theme but it's interesting to see how different authors approach said theme. I loved A Country Escape from the first word until the last. Fran is a courageous, wonderful character who will find a place in your heart and having you rooting for a positive outcome for her right from the very first page.Excitement and nerves abound as Fran embarks on a wonderful adventure that could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to her or else just one big huge disaster. Leaving her comfortable life in London for a farm in Gloucester seems like a nightmare to many but maybe there is something calling Fran to do this even thought it is loaded with responsibility and concerns. Soon after arriving Fran discovers the farm has not being doing as well as it once did. The farmhouse is not a glorious residence as one often sees on the programme Escape to the Country. The accounts are in disarray and money is tight to put it mildly. How is Fran going to deal with the pedigree heard when she herself admits she wouldn't know one end of a cow from another? Thankfully herdsman Tig is on hand when it comes to the cows which relieves some of the burden but the question of what to do with their milk remains. Especially as the milk tanker won't venture up the pot holed filled lane.Tig was a character who was always there in the background, a quiet conservative man, never saying much unless it was relevant. A person who spoke when spoken to and always choose each word with care. He was a support to Fran when it came to the day to day running of the farm. But who really stepped up to the plate was very wealthy neighbour Antony Arlingham. Antony wasn't seen in the best light by Amy as he has wanted to buy the farm from her to help expand his business empire. The thought of which makes Amy's blood boil. Antony was supposed to be the enemy but I felt from the outset he was genuine and had nothing but good intentions.Fran was the most remarkable character. For someone who really was like a fish out of water she soon became filled with passion at the task ahead of her. Yes it was enormous and even though Fran hadn't much knowledge or experience she was filled with ingenuity and had plenty of forward thinking ideas. Everything that lay ahead of Fran was overwhelming and many people would run away at the first hurdle but I admired her commitment and even though she barely knew Amy she was aware of how special the farm was to her and she wouldn't let it go without a fight. What's good about Fran was that she wasn't above asking for help or advice. Yes at times she was loathe to ask for money from others but at the same time she was sensible and knew what needed to be done. She also didn't want to go against Amy's wishes but when your back is against the wall you may just accept help from where ever you can and not question someone’s ulterior motives. Her culinary background came in very handy and the ideas she came up with were brilliant but couldn't be pulled off without plenty of hard work and effort. I loved how Fran never once conceded defeat no matter how tough things got. She knew her ideas had merit and despite the setbacks she kept ploughing on and was determined to reach her ultimate goal. She won't rest until success is achieved. I'm glad her friend Issi was there for Fran every step of the way. She seemed so kind, caring and sensible and her own little budding romance was subtly done but just oh so perfect. The friendship between Fran and Issi was just lovely and one you would like to have in your own life.Antony could have been the character everybody loves to hate. That rich business man who hasn't a drop of human emotion, who will overstep everybody to expand their empire. We've all read about men of that kind in books before but thankfully he was the complete opposite and I loved seeing his soft side emerge. The friendship he develops with Fran was wonderful to see and I hoped something a little deeper might happen. Despite the difficulties, challenges and anxieties facing Fran, Issi and Antony were always there for her. There was another character introduced at the halfway point and I detested said character. The author did a brilliant job of portraying them for what they were- attention seeking and money grabbing. This character was horrible, rude and lacked any empathy or compassion. They were sent to up scuttle everything and I hoped this wouldn't happen given the hard work put in by Fran to make Hill Top Farm a success once again. I had a feeling something would emerge about this awful character but this didn't happen instead a different tack was taken which didn't disappoint but maybe the angle I was looking for could have added even more surprises to the story. Not that this is a fault in anyway as this particular plot line was very well done.
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  • Leonie Byrne
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the lovely people at Century part of the Penguin Random House group for my copy of Katie Fforde's A Country Escape. Title: A Country Escape Author: Katie FfordePublication Date: 22nd February 2018Page Count: 384 PagesRating: 5*Quote: 'Would you still love me if I stopped being afraid of cows?' Summary Fran's life is turned upside down when she is contacted by Amy, a distant relation through her dad's side. Amy is an old lady who owns a farm on which a rare breed of cows live, now th Thank you to the lovely people at Century part of the Penguin Random House group for my copy of Katie Fforde's A Country Escape. 
Title: A Country Escape 
Author: Katie Fforde
Publication Date: 22nd February 2018
Page Count: 384 Pages
Rating: 5*
Quote: 'Would you still love me if I stopped being afraid of cows?' 
Summary 
Fran's life is turned upside down when she is contacted by Amy, a distant relation through her dad's side. Amy is an old lady who owns a farm on which a rare breed of cows live, now that she's getting older she's put herself in a Care home and offered Fran the opportunity to look after the farm for a year, and if she does it well? She inherits the farm in the end.

It's a big change for Fran who's used to working in pubs while dreaming of owning her own restaurant, but for Amy's sake she's determined to make it work. With a little help from her friend Issi, The herdsman Tig and the delicious (and wealthy) neighbour Anthony, she might just do it, that is until another distant relative; Roy, turns up out of the blue wanting his chance to inherit the farm.
Review 
It was about 7 years ago, before I had Goodreads, or a blog or any understanding that anyone else out there loved reading as much as me, that I stepped into WH Smith and picked up several of Katie's books. Attracted by their candy coloured covers and the synopsis' of women who made it all by themselves, finding love along the way, I fell in love with Katie's writing and her characters. Years down the line I'm still a huge fan and A Country Escape has finally pushed my collection onto a second shelf on my bookshelves.
Katie's books are wonderfully uplifting and A Country Escape is no different. I loved Fran from the off, determined, driven and impulsive (but in a good way) she instantly became someone I wished I was friends with. I loved the friendship between her an Issi which was perfect and so true to life, not to mention her absolute fear at times of what she'd taken on. But like all Katie's characters she was completely sure that somehow she would make it but I'm not giving away spoilers of whether she did or not!

I loved this from start to finish but the last few chapters literally made it unputdownable as I just needed to know what happened next!
As I've always said, Katie never disappoints.

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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    A cosy, happy story in a beautiful setting. 3.5/5 stars.This review was originally posted on my book blog.The cover and title of Katie Fforde's latest book tell you all you need to know! A Country Escape is cosy escapism with likeable characters in a wonderful setting. Although there is a romance thread to the story, I'd argue the greatest romance is between the protagonist - Fran - and the farm she hopes to inherit, which has its own starring role along with the beautiful countryside setting.Th A cosy, happy story in a beautiful setting. 3.5/5 stars.This review was originally posted on my book blog.The cover and title of Katie Fforde's latest book tell you all you need to know! A Country Escape is cosy escapism with likeable characters in a wonderful setting. Although there is a romance thread to the story, I'd argue the greatest romance is between the protagonist - Fran - and the farm she hopes to inherit, which has its own starring role along with the beautiful countryside setting.That said, when the main antagonist finally turns up about halfway through the story, he's wonderfully heartless and left me dying to jump into the book to kick him in the shins. Fran's elderly Aunt Amy is also entertainingly spiky and at times I marvelled at how Fran remained patient with her.And if a delicious setting and villains weren't enough, prepare yourself for oodles of cheese! This book is a treat for all foodies, particularly those who prefer a cheese board to dessert.My favourite scene came near the end of the book, when high drama in a solicitor's office made me laugh out loud. I won't say any more to avoid spoilers!Overall: Katie Fforde fans are sure to enjoy A Country Escape. Perfect if, like Fran, you're looking for a break from metropolitan stress.
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  • Michael Cayley
    January 1, 1970
    A delightful light read. Amy has had to move from the farm she owns, with its never-ploughed pastures, and the herd of cows she loves, into residential care. She asks Fran, a distant relative with a talent for cooking, to look after the farm and see if she can make a go of it. With the help of friend Issy, and taciturn cowman Tig, Fran is throwing herself into the task when another relative, unfeeling Roy from Australia, turns up unexpectedly and invites himself to stay, confident that he, not F A delightful light read. Amy has had to move from the farm she owns, with its never-ploughed pastures, and the herd of cows she loves, into residential care. She asks Fran, a distant relative with a talent for cooking, to look after the farm and see if she can make a go of it. With the help of friend Issy, and taciturn cowman Tig, Fran is throwing herself into the task when another relative, unfeeling Roy from Australia, turns up unexpectedly and invites himself to stay, confident that he, not Fran, will inherit. The picture is complicated by the fact that one of the neighbours is handsome rich Anthony, with whose family Amy has had a long-standing major grudge, and whom Amy views with deep suspicion.Amy is wonderfully characterised: quirky, at times cantankerous, with a habit of starting a nap at key moments, but with her wits about her. Roy is more of a caricature. The other main characters are adorable. The cows - and Fran’s cheese - are almost characters themselves.I really enjoyed this book.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me have an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Ágnes Palásthy
    January 1, 1970
    This is a wonderful book - one of the best ones by the author. I love the setting: rural Englad with a close-knit community. There is a romantic storyline of course. Or rather two - both very enjoyable with very loveable people. I loved the characters in the book. IThere are wonderful women in the story, young and old, and most of the men are good match to them. The storyline has the additional bonus of excitement created by the scoundrel in the story: Roy the Australian cousin. Right until the This is a wonderful book - one of the best ones by the author. I love the setting: rural Englad with a close-knit community. There is a romantic storyline of course. Or rather two - both very enjoyable with very loveable people. I loved the characters in the book. IThere are wonderful women in the story, young and old, and most of the men are good match to them. The storyline has the additional bonus of excitement created by the scoundrel in the story: Roy the Australian cousin. Right until the end we can't be 100% sure that the story will have a happy ending. But ib the end we can heave a sigh of relief of course. I do recommend this book to everyone with all my heart. You are going to have some really enjoyable time with it.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable read if you take it at face value and don’think too deeply about the plot!
  • Rosie Amber
    January 1, 1970
    A Country Escape is a women’s fiction novel set on a farm in the Cotswolds. A distant relative has offered Fran a chance to own her own farm; she just has to prove she can be a successful farmer for a year.Aunt Amy is now in a care home, but she’ll only leave her beloved farm to someone who can match her own love for the pedigree Dairy Shorthorns and the ancient landscape. With the help of Tig, the herdsman, her friend Issi and a handsome neighbour, can Fran drag the farm from debt with her chee A Country Escape is a women’s fiction novel set on a farm in the Cotswolds. A distant relative has offered Fran a chance to own her own farm; she just has to prove she can be a successful farmer for a year.Aunt Amy is now in a care home, but she’ll only leave her beloved farm to someone who can match her own love for the pedigree Dairy Shorthorns and the ancient landscape. With the help of Tig, the herdsman, her friend Issi and a handsome neighbour, can Fran drag the farm from debt with her cheesemaking plans? Or will she be beaten by a second relative: a farmer from Australia who is a closer relative to Amy, with a good farming background?This book has a stunning setting and Fran’s cheesemaking was an enjoyable addition to the country escape theme. I also liked the idea of Fran’s supper club which put her chef’s background skills to good use. I’m lucky to know a little about Dairy Shorthorn cows, so this gave the book another thumbs up from me. Plus there is an episode which will appeal to any dog-lover, I won’t say more as I want to avoid spoilers.Overall a great feel-good read which fans of Katie Fforde can rely on for a pleasing piece of escapism.More reviews at https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/Twitter @rosieamber1
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  • Jane Hunt
    January 1, 1970
    A possible inheritance, a rundown farm, rare breed cows and cheese may seem to be strange themes for a romance but when Fran takes a chance on 'the good life', she becomes involved with all of the above and finds that love happens in the most unusual places.A Country Escape', begins for Fran when she leaves her cheffing job in London to run a distant relative's farm after she moved into a care home. The farm is rundown but has potential, the question is, has Fran the expertise and finance to rea A possible inheritance, a rundown farm, rare breed cows and cheese may seem to be strange themes for a romance but when Fran takes a chance on 'the good life', she becomes involved with all of the above and finds that love happens in the most unusual places.A Country Escape', begins for Fran when she leaves her cheffing job in London to run a distant relative's farm after she moved into a care home. The farm is rundown but has potential, the question is, has Fran the expertise and finance to realise it? 'A Country Escape', gives the reader a chance to do just that. From the first page, you experience life in the countryside with a delightful array of characters both human and animal.Courage, loyalty and tenacity are all characteristics that aptly describe Fran, she wants to experience something new and is willing to risk everything to have the lifestyle she craves. Antony is a successful businessman as well as the 'man next door' he is more than helpful and seems to be the perfect neighbour, but her cousin Amy has warned Fran about his motives, so can she trust him?Both the characters and the plot are realistic. Dairy farming and artisan cheesemaking are vividly described and allow the reader to experience what Fran does; this makes the story come to life. There is plenty of angst; the appearance of Roy, a rival for the inheritance, and Amy's fickleness towards Fran's attempts at running the farm. Both of these sources of conflict, make Fran believe she will never achieve her goal.There is a lovely romantic thread to this story; it seems nothing is too much trouble for Antony where Fran is concerned, and Issi finds that everything to do with cows is enthralling when the herdsman Tig shares them with her. Both romances are affected by the outcome of the inheritance. Is this Antony's real interest in Fran, and what will happen to Issi and Tig, if he loses his home and livelihood? The delightful ending has both poignant and romantic elements. A lovely romantic tale, which provides the reader with everything they need to enjoy an escape to the country.I received a copy of this book from Random House UK Cornerstone - Century via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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  • Jo Barton
    January 1, 1970
    Even though Fran is frightened of cows, she has always wanted to be a farmer. So when the opportunity arises for her to take over the running of a dilapidated Cotswold farm, she does so with a certain amount of trepidation. Her Aunt Amy has had to go into a nursing home and has informed Fran that if she makes a success of running the farm she will inherit it and all the responsibility that goes with it. With a little help from her best friend, Issi and also the support of Anthony, her eligible a Even though Fran is frightened of cows, she has always wanted to be a farmer. So when the opportunity arises for her to take over the running of a dilapidated Cotswold farm, she does so with a certain amount of trepidation. Her Aunt Amy has had to go into a nursing home and has informed Fran that if she makes a success of running the farm she will inherit it and all the responsibility that goes with it. With a little help from her best friend, Issi and also the support of Anthony, her eligible and wealthy neighbour, Fran does her best to make things work out but then something unexpected occurs which scuppers her plans and puts the farm under threat.What then follows is a charming story which incorporates all the trademarks of this talented writer. The delightful characterisation sits comfortably alongside wonderful descriptions of farm life and Fran's venture into cheese making made me long for a golden slice of cheddar and a crisp green apple. The countryside comes gloriously alive and the distinctly pastoral feel combines perfectly in a story which is both warm and witty and then happy and sad. I loved getting to know Fran and such is the charm of her personality that I couldn't help but want her to succeed, and as the story progressed I become totally immersed in Fran's life at Hill Top Farm.Curled up in my favourite reading chair, cup of tea in hand, I knew that from very start of A Country Escape I was going to love spending time at Hill Top Farm in the company of Fran and her friends.
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  • Misfits farm
    January 1, 1970
    I always look forward to a Katie Fforde book. Even before I have read the first page there is the anticipation of that feel good factor along with a wonderful story line, larger than life characters and a smile along the way. This one didn’t disappoint me in any of those aspects. Fran lives in London working as a chef. She vaguely remembers as a child going to a farm and seeing the cows. She gets a letter from a solicitor saying that a distant relative has gone into a care home and that she is t I always look forward to a Katie Fforde book. Even before I have read the first page there is the anticipation of that feel good factor along with a wonderful story line, larger than life characters and a smile along the way. This one didn’t disappoint me in any of those aspects. Fran lives in London working as a chef. She vaguely remembers as a child going to a farm and seeing the cows. She gets a letter from a solicitor saying that a distant relative has gone into a care home and that she is to try and run the farm for a year and then might inherit it. How is a chef going to run a farm when she hasn’t a clue where to start? And who is the neighbour that the relative hates so much? Brilliantly written from the word go. Wonderful characters that you take to (or not in one case!) and scenes that you can easily picture. Whether you live in London or rurality, this book will bring a smile. A thoroughly enjoyable read. For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1
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  • Nicola
    January 1, 1970
    Although I’d seen many Katie Fforde books around before, I’d never read one and generally dismissed them as being chick-lit, that wouldn’t enjoy. It just shows that you never judge a book by its cover because but I actually really enjoyed this book and will definitely read some more by her.Fran is contacted by a distant relative, Amy who has moved into a care home and is looking for someone to take care of the farm that she loves dearly. Although Fran takes up the challenge, she is in completely Although I’d seen many Katie Fforde books around before, I’d never read one and generally dismissed them as being chick-lit, that wouldn’t enjoy. It just shows that you never judge a book by its cover because but I actually really enjoyed this book and will definitely read some more by her.Fran is contacted by a distant relative, Amy who has moved into a care home and is looking for someone to take care of the farm that she loves dearly. Although Fran takes up the challenge, she is in completely new depths as she has no idea about running a farm. Fran has to get stuck in and along with her friend Issi has to decide how to make the farm make money. A further challenge comes her way when a distant cousin of Amy’s comes along and is determined to inherit the farm and turn it into houses.A great story that is a feel-good read with a steady pace and characters that I really enjoyed reading about.
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  • Jewels
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book I've read by this author, and I loved it. I don't normally choose books in this genre, but plumped for it as soon as I saw that it related to cheese making (which I've always wanted to try!)It's an enjoyable and light read, the perfect pick-me-up in this grey wintry weather. I liked the characters (apart from Roy and Megan!), the plot held together nicely, and I very much enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape and cheese making.I'll definitely read more by this author w This is the first book I've read by this author, and I loved it. I don't normally choose books in this genre, but plumped for it as soon as I saw that it related to cheese making (which I've always wanted to try!)It's an enjoyable and light read, the perfect pick-me-up in this grey wintry weather. I liked the characters (apart from Roy and Megan!), the plot held together nicely, and I very much enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape and cheese making.I'll definitely read more by this author when I need cheering up.My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC in return for my honest review.
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  • Fi Evans
    January 1, 1970
    I love Katie’s books and this one was good in so many ways - good characters, an easy read and a beautifully imagined countryside setting. It all sounded idyllic, apart from the mild peril from an unsavoury character. But sadly something didn’t quite click with this book and I felt like something was lacking. Don’t ask me what but for some reason it wasn’t as brilliant and heart-warming as I’d usually expect from Katie Fforde. I still love her books though, and can’t wait for the next one to be I love Katie’s books and this one was good in so many ways - good characters, an easy read and a beautifully imagined countryside setting. It all sounded idyllic, apart from the mild peril from an unsavoury character. But sadly something didn’t quite click with this book and I felt like something was lacking. Don’t ask me what but for some reason it wasn’t as brilliant and heart-warming as I’d usually expect from Katie Fforde. I still love her books though, and can’t wait for the next one to be out!* This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review *
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  • Book Monitor
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first Katie Fforde book but it won't be my last. It has everything: a well told tale, inter-generational differences of opinion, a couple of feisty women, a couple of caring gents, and a couple of slightly unreal nasty people to enjoy.The detail was great, giving a real feel of a run down farm in need of love and attention, and a woman out of her depth but determined to make a go of it, and the harder she tries the more she gets out of it, despite the worries and difficulties.A feelg This was my first Katie Fforde book but it won't be my last. It has everything: a well told tale, inter-generational differences of opinion, a couple of feisty women, a couple of caring gents, and a couple of slightly unreal nasty people to enjoy.The detail was great, giving a real feel of a run down farm in need of love and attention, and a woman out of her depth but determined to make a go of it, and the harder she tries the more she gets out of it, despite the worries and difficulties.A feelgood book that really has left me feeling good.
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  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    This is an utterly delightful read! Fran has been set a challenge -take on a failing farm belonging to an elderly relative and make it a success in just 1 year. If successful it will be hers to keep.… Fran a trained chef by trade knows nothing about farming but is desperate to make this work. She faces hurdles along the way from both the farm itself and the local villagers. He best friend Issy is along for the ride and then there is the neighbour who she has been warned off but needs his help to This is an utterly delightful read! Fran has been set a challenge -take on a failing farm belonging to an elderly relative and make it a success in just 1 year. If successful it will be hers to keep.… Fran a trained chef by trade knows nothing about farming but is desperate to make this work. She faces hurdles along the way from both the farm itself and the local villagers. He best friend Issy is along for the ride and then there is the neighbour who she has been warned off but needs his help to survive…. Her journey is both exciting and enjoyable with lots of action along the way I would recommend this easy to follow read and will be looking into more of Katie Fforde books.
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  • Aisha
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book however I did find certain aspects a bit ‘twee’. I suppose that’ll appeal to some people. The romance between two of the characters felt a little rushed which spoilt it for me. I’d still read other works by Katie Fforde so it wasn’t too bad a read! I’m teetering between 3.5 and 4 stars.
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  • Mrs G.J.Shepherd
    January 1, 1970
    EEvery time I pick up a new book by Katie I know that I will enjoy the story line, the details and learn about another way of life.......keep writing
  • Hilary
    January 1, 1970
    Quite nice in an undemanding way. Yet another pink-wiggly-writing book.
  • Angela Newby
    January 1, 1970
    What a beautiful heartwarming story. A easy five stars. The story was beautifully written. I love Katie Fforde style of writing she draws into the story as if you are there
  • Christine Rennie
    January 1, 1970
    I am grateful to Netgalley and the publishers for the book in exchange for an honest review. The book was an easy read and was full of baking, love and laughter. Relationships were of some old, some new variety and being left to run a farm with no experience whatsoever, thrown in for good measure.A good enjoyable read.
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