Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The Hidden Cottage by Erica James
Paperback: 372 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Orion Books UK 2013
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: 'Expect the unexpected' was Owen Fletcher's new personal mantra.
Review Quote: The Hidden Cottage is a heart-warming, romantic story full of engaging characters, an emotional rollercoaster. (DAILY EXPRESS 2013-08-16)
My Opinion: Emotional and humorous story of love and sacrifice.
Erica James is an author I have been a long time fan of, since 1996 in fact when I read A Breath of Fresh Air . The Hidden Cottage makes the twelfth title I have read from her catalogue, so not many more to make it the full set. I was surprised to discover though that the last time I read an Erica James novel was in 2009, when I read three, all of which I reviewed on this blog. They were Tell It To The Skies, It's The Little Things and Hidden Talents. I have always regarded her writing as a thoroughly enjoyable read where you can immerse yourself in the story, not great literature but so much better than some of the novels regarded as ‘chick lit’or ‘romantic women's fiction’
The Hidden Cottage did not disappoint, an emotional and humorous story of love and sacrifice in family life. As always her characters are identifiable with those you may have met in real life, the author herself admits that 'she has an insatiable appetite for other people's business and will readily strike up a conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing.'
The heroine this time is middle aged with grown up children, which is welcome for those of us of a certain age, looking for what I call a 'light but enjoyable novel to take me out of myself'. One does not always want to read about young protagonists in contemporary fiction.
Mia Channing, on the surface appears to have a near perfect life, lovely home in the countryside, her own successful business, a happy marriage and three grown up children to whom she is devoted. Appearances are deceiving though as behind this façade, life is much more complicated. When a newcomer arrives in the village in the form of Owen Fletcher, chasing a dream, he unexpectedly shakes up Mia's life.
Can a damaged heart be repaired? If this a genre you enjoy reading then you need to find out for yourself.
Erica James, née Sullivan was born in 1960 in Surrey, England, UK and she grew up on Hayling Island, Hampshire from the age of 4. Now divorced, with two grown-up sons, Edward and Samuel, she divides her time between Cheshire, UK and Lake Como, Italy
She began writing after attending a creative writing course at the Arvon Foundation, and published her first novel in 1996. In 2006, her novel Gardens of Delight won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award from the Romantic Novelists' Association. Erica James is the author of sixteen best selling novels including her most recent, The Real Katie Lavender.
Apparently she has an insatiable appetite for other people's business and will readily strike up a conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it is the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.
The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the author's publicist and following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.
Goodreads - Author Profile Erica James - Official Author Website Facebook Profile
Amazon - Author Profile