Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Review: The Honey Farm on the Hill by Jo Thomas

The Honey Farm on the Hill by Jo Thomas
Published by Headline Review
Released 10th August 2017
400 Pages
Paperback

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

We never forget the one who got away.

Eighteen years ago Nell fell in love in the mountains of Crete and life changed for ever. Nell's daughter, Demi, has never met her dad. Nell never saw him again.

When she gets the chance to return to the hilltop town of Vounoplagia - where everything began - Nell can't resist the urge to go back and find him.

Working on a honey farm perched high up in the hills, there's plenty to keep her busy. And she will quickly realise the town harbours just as many secrets as she does.

But if Nell's favourite romantic films are right, there's a happy ending in store for each of us. All she has to do is seek out the magic of the mountains...


Thoughts

It's been a while since I read a good old chick lit. I have mainly been sticking to YA recently but I fancied a change. Chick lit makes you feel good and I needed that. When I received a copy of The Honey Farm on the Hill through the post I was instantly drawn into the beautiful cover and the title. Where was the hill? Why a honey farm? I was looking forward to escaping into this intriguing story.

Eighteen years ago Nell met the love of her life in the mountains of Crete. Her daughter, Demi has never met her birthfather and Nell never saw him again. After an accident at the factory she works at puts Nell out of work she decides to return to the hilltop town of Vounoplagia, Crete where it all began. Working on a honey farm high up in the hills there is plenty to keep her busy and she soon discovers that this little town is keeping some secrets. What will she do to bring love back to the mountains and make the town whole again?

First off, the thing I absolutely loved about this book was the setting. The Greek mountains was a perfect place to set a story like this and I enjoyed reading all about it. When I'm abroad I love scouting out little towns so I felt an instant connection with Vounoplagia. At times I felt like I was there amongst all the locals which is what I adore when reading a book. The descriptions of the mountains, the farm, the town and the locals was spot on and like I said it helped transport me there. It was also good to read about a sunny destination as it hasn't been the best of weather here in UK.

The storyline itself was a little bit predictable but that's what it's like with most chick lit. There were times where I knew what was going to happen and if you know me well you know how much that frustrates me. I like to be kept on my toes. However, a few moments in the story really did surprise me. There were certainly a few twists to the plot which at first seems quite straight forward. These twists kept me wanting to read more and I soon found myself fully engaged in this world.

Nell, as a character was one that I couldn't really warm up to. She was likeable enough but there was just something about her I couldn't engage with. I found her to be rather annoying at times and this did ruin my reading a little bit. Some of the decisions she made throughout the story were quite stupid and I found myself shouting at her to stop. Despite this, I loved all the locals that we meet along the way. Maria, Kostas and Mitera were adorable. The way they welcomed Nell into their home as if she was one of their own was admirable. The relationship between the three of them I found to be so heartwarming. Whenever they were spoken about I felt myself smiling. I liked Georgios too, despite him seeming like a very unlikeable character at first. His love for the mountains and the town was what really drew me to him. In this book the main focus in my opinion is about family and the love they have for this little town and that in itself is really important.

The Honey Farm on the Hill was a sweet, easy read. It is perfect to read in the summer and you'll be left wanting to go to Crete, trust me. Yes, it had a few issues but if you are looking for an easy read set in a gorgeous location this may be the book for you.

Rating


Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in e-book and won the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best E-Book Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.


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