When Tamara Rix’s sister Lyddie is involved in a hit-and-run accident that leaves her in need of constant care, Tamara resolves to remain in the village she grew up in. Tamara would do anything for her sister, even sacrifice a long-term relationship.
But when Lyddie’s teenage sweetheart Jed Cassius returns to Middledip, he brings news that shakes the Rix family to their core. Jed’s life is shrouded in mystery, particularly his job, but despite his strange background, Tamara can t help being intrigued by him.
Can Tamara find a balance between her love for Lyddie and growing feelings for Jed, or will she discover that some kinds of love just don’t mix?
Sue Moorcroft’s books have long been one of my guilty pleasures. I now know Middledip so well I could show tourists round, and it’s been so lovely to be back there for her latest. This is a really well told story. Tamara is a yoga instructor, ready to buy a house with her comfortable long-term boyfriend Max, when he lands a job in another part of the country. Tamara can’t just leave – she has a disabled sister, Lyddie, whose heart would be broken if she left. Tamara has her own home on the new estate on the outskirts of Middledip (you know the one…) but rarely does a day go by when she doesn’t spend time at her parents’ home with Lyddie. Things get interesting when Jed Cassius – Lyddie’s boyfriend before the accident that caused her disability – and his brother return to the village, and Tamara’s life becomes entwined with their mysterious employers.
I love Sue Moorcroft’s writing. Her characters always have depth and complexity, with real issues that are never laboured in a way that would spoil the essential “feel good” nature of her books, but always have an authenticity about them. Lyddie is an absolute triumph with her “love” for everything from cake to llamas and beyond, her enthusiasms and her unpredictable need for the toilet. Tamara’s a thoroughly likeable heroine too – despite the fact that you want to shake her for some of the decisions she makes. Jed Cassius? Well he’s simply gorgeous . And there’s a whole cast of well-rounded characters in support. Gabe, the ex bank manager with his pony and trap and the animals that Lyddie loves, is wonderful. And I had a lot of sympathy for her mother – unable to return to work as a teacher, struggling with tensions in her marriage. And I won’t even start to say how fascinated I was by Jed’s employers who drive the narrative as well as being fascinating in themselves.
If it’s rainy and cold outside, or you’ve just had a tough week, this is the book for you. It’s a rich exploration of the nature of many kinds of love, but is also a really good story to escape into. And don’t feel you have to read anything else set in Middledip before reading this one – but should you be so moved, I’d also highly recommend Starting Over and All That Mullarkey. In fact, I’d probably recommend anything else Sue Moorcroft has ever written. And it probably goes without saying that this is another triumph from one of my very favourite publishers, Choc Lit – “way to go” guys!
This book is already available for Kindle (at the fantastic price of £1.99, but do check before clicking – her other Choc Lit books are available at around that price too) and the paperback is due for publication by Choc Lit on 7th November 2013. To find out more about Sue and her books, do have a look at her excellent website.