Review – The Cheesemaker’s House by Jane Cable

By | September 22, 2013

A little bit of Yorkshire magic happened last week. I’d just finished reading this book, when my phone bleeped – unbelievably, it was an email from Jane Cable asking me if I’d think about reading it, because I’m Yorkshire based and because a number of friends whose blogs I follow had enjoyed it. Spooky eh? And I was delighted to be able to tell her I’d already read it and she was right – I really enjoyed it.

And Yorkshire magic is wholly appropriate to describe this book.  I was initially attracted when it won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. Described as a “page-turner that will have readers hooked instantly”, I was quite surprised though by its lightness of touch and total absence of any hint of crime. Don’t get me wrong, the suspense is there – there’s a really interesting touch of the mystical and supernatural – but if I were categorising I’d say that this is a book that would appeal to the chick lit reader who might be looking for something a little different, and might just disappoint someone looking for a psychological thriller. Best description I think might be part love story, part ghost story, and it does it very well.

 Alice Hart moves to a village near Northallerton in North Yorkshire after breaking up with her husband, and sets about making friends – Richard Wainwright the builder (who she employs to renovate her barn), Margaret her elderly neighbour and gardener, and Owen and Adam who are trying to make a success of the local cafe.  Attracted to Owen, who is a “charmer” – a herbalist healer with a touch of magic, inherited from his grandmother – as well as a friendly cafe owner, she is shaken when she sees him around the village when he isn’t there. And then there’s the crying that wakes her night after night – where is it coming from?

This was a well written story, with the right balance of romance, suspense and magic, a little different from the norm, with a strong sense of place and well drawn characters. My personal favourite was actually Richard, who reminded me of every builder I’ve met since moving to Yorkshire – always trying his luck, talks with just the right accent, tied up in the supernatural happenings but taking it all in his stride. I found Alice a little less engaging – but who wouldn’t love Owen? The author is a good storyteller and I really enjoyed this one, but if you try it – and I really would recommend it to anyone who likes something a little different about their chick lit – do be aware that it’s gentle, a little slow moving, and the thrills are frissons rather than full blown horror. Read and enjoy – I certainly did.

This book has its own Facebook page, and Jane Cable has an excellent website which includes a blog where she shares all her excitement about publishing her first novel, and additionally comes across as a really lovely lady.  The background to the book is fascinating – a framed will found when renovating the cottage and discovering  ‘charmers’ in a book from her father’s extensive library. This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions, and published by Matador, an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd. My thanks to netgalley and the publishers for the advance reading e-copy.

One thought on “Review – The Cheesemaker’s House by Jane Cable

  1. Pingback: #Blogtour: Another You by @JaneCable @EndeavourPress #review #giveaway #extract – Being Anne…

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