#Review: The Winter That Made Us by Kate Field @katehaswords @AccentPress @rararesources

By | September 20, 2018

I’m really delighted today to be joining the blog tour for The Winter That Made Us by Kate Field, on the day (20th September) that it’s being published for kindle and in paperback by Accent Press. I’m still a tad ashamed that I haven’t managed to read The Magic of Ramblings, but I absolutely loved The Truth About You, Me and Us (you can read my review again here), and also enjoyed her contribution to Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings as one of the Authors on the Edge (review here). And I’ve been just dying to share my review of this one…

When Tess finds herself unexpectedly alone and back in Ribblemill, the childhood village she thought she’d escaped, she’s sure she can survive a temporary stay. She’s spent a lifetime making the best of things, hasn’t she?

Determined to throw herself into village life, Tess starts a choir and gathers a team of volunteers to restore the walled garden at Ramblings, the local stately home. Everything could be perfect, if she weren’t sharing a cottage and a cat with a man whose manner is more prickly than the nettles she’s removing…

As winter approaches, Tess finds herself putting down her own roots as fast as she’s pulling them up in the garden. But the ghosts of the past hover close by, and Tess must face them if she’s to discover whether home is where her heart has been all along.

Every now and then, it’s so very lovely to pick up a book, read its opening chapters, and know immediately that it’s one you’re going to really enjoy. But whose grave is that prettiest one in the churchyard in the opening scene? Well, you’ll be quite a way into the book before you find out.

First, you’ll follow Tess – a character hiding some big secrets, but who I took to from her very first appearance – as she moves into Cobweb Cottage and throws herself (quite exhaustingly) into the life of the village. The choir started from scratch, the importance of music in her life, the teaching at the school, the saving of a wedding, the pulling together of volunteers to rescue Ramblings’ walled garden – I just love novels set in a vividly imagined and described community, when other well-drawn characters sometimes move into the foreground for their “moment”, and the author manages it all so very well.

I really liked Tess’s brittleness and vulnerability – her Disney princess smiles and relentless cheerfulness, her every conversation peppered with the exclamation marks that Noah so detests – but with an outward persona so very different from the damaged person that lurks behind it. The development of her story brings many surprises, all of which are so well handled: and I loved the fact that while Tess’s efforts are outwardly for the benefit of the community, they are also a way of healing herself.

And then there’s Noah – with secrets and a damaged past of his own, witnessed by Tess in some desperately touching scenes. And who could fail to love a man who develops his own soft spot for their shared cat with well-developed character traits all of his own? And who sheds a tear when… ah no, I mustn’t tell you the story, that wouldn’t do at all! All I will say is that there are a few scenes later in this book that are quite wonderfully handled, and can’t fail but bring a tear to your eye too. Any kind of relationship and common ground between these two main characters seems so very unlikely… but then again…

And I’ve already mentioned the cat, but also central to the story is one small child found hiding in bushes – and who becomes a major catalyst for many of the story’s twists and turns, and in the development of its characters, while carrying an excellent storyline all of his own.

The whole book is beautifully written, with real warmth, a strong sense of place and of the people who live there. I found it quite captivating, heart-warming and so uplifting – one of those rare and lovely reads that you put down at the end with a smile, and just want to say out loud “I really enjoyed that”. I’m so looking forward to seeing what Kate Field does next…

About the author

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire, where she lives with her husband, daughter and hyperactive cat. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and her debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2017.

Facebook | Twitter

5 thoughts on “#Review: The Winter That Made Us by Kate Field @katehaswords @AccentPress @rararesources

  1. Kate Field

    Thanks for this wonderful review, Anne, and for taking part in the blog tour. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book. x

    1. Anne Post author

      It was an absolute pleasure Kate – I loved it xx

Comments are closed.