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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing reading
I find 'village' fiction enjoyable and this book is no exception. Clarissa is suddenly widowed and has to stand on her own feet; Alistair is an artist renting a cottage on the local impoverished laird's estate, then there's Ingrid who runs the village gift shop and Glen and Libby who run the pub - the Neurotic Cuckoo - and Sam and Marcy who have the post office and...
Published on 11 May 2008 by Damaskcat

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, bland, inoffensive
This is apparently the first book in a series of stories based around the sleepy small Scottish village of Prior's Ford. The quiet peace of the place is threatened here by the proposed re-opening of an old quarry, which splits the community. Some villagers think it will destroy the quiet peace of the small village, others think it will bring opportunities for employment...
Published on 14 Jan 2008 by Keris Nine


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, bland, inoffensive, 14 Jan 2008
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is apparently the first book in a series of stories based around the sleepy small Scottish village of Prior's Ford. The quiet peace of the place is threatened here by the proposed re-opening of an old quarry, which splits the community. Some villagers think it will destroy the quiet peace of the small village, others think it will bring opportunities for employment and growth for the small businesses. No, it's not a metaphor for the state of the nation or the divisions caused by the war on terror - Secrets in Prior's Ford has no deeper purpose than an episode of Emmerdale, and a pretty tame one at that.

The series promises "intrigue, passion and scandal" and there is certainly plenty of that here, but it's all played out very much in a harmless, inoffensive and gossipy manner - the wholesome model village is not exactly a hotbed of vice and corruption. Secrets there are, but they don't stay secrets long and are happily chatted about between friends or confided in with the vicar over tea and scones so that an amicable solution and accommodation can be reached without too much over-excitement. Even while fund-raising for their cause, the anti-quarry group even decide to organise a traditional village fayre, so that their opponents don't feel too left out.

Yep - village fayre's, garden parties, Easter Egg hunts - Prior's Ford is that kind of place and Secrets in Prior's Ford is that kind of novel. These are predictable, commonplace old-fashioned soap-opera style situations with bland, stock characters who never act the slightest bit like real people. The dialogue has all the contemporary naturalism of Enid Blyton with not a trace of a Scottish accent or idiom (the strongest the language gets is a single occurrence of "dratted") and everyone is a reasonable and well-adjusted individual. Even the local kids are polite, diligent, trustworthy and conscientious. Although certainly unchallenging and deeply reactionary (the wholesome little village will seem like pure heaven to readers of the Daily Mail), it's hard all the same to resist the charm and simplicity of life in Prior's Ford.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing reading, 11 May 2008
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I find 'village' fiction enjoyable and this book is no exception. Clarissa is suddenly widowed and has to stand on her own feet; Alistair is an artist renting a cottage on the local impoverished laird's estate, then there's Ingrid who runs the village gift shop and Glen and Libby who run the pub - the Neurotic Cuckoo - and Sam and Marcy who have the post office and general stores. These are all well realised characters with secrets they don't want others to know. A stranger in their midst heralds change and the villagers are united and divided when a long disused quarry looks as though it may re-open. Which way will it go? Whatever the result the village will not be the same again and life changing secrets will be revealed.

The plot was easy to keep track of - I read it on the bus to and from work in 20 minute sections and had no trouble remembering where I'd got to. Village life with all its advantages and disadvantages was realistically portrayed and there were enough loose ends to show where the next book will continue the story. Long may this series last as it will certainly please the people who enjoy Miss Read and Rebecca Shaw. My only complaint was that everyone refers to the pub by its full name whereas I'm certain it would be abbreviated to simply 'The Cuckoo'. But this is still a good read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Village Tale, 8 May 2008
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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I am always drawn to `village tales' for their quaint twee look on life and their simple activities and adventures. This book was no exception and fulfilled all the criteria that you require in a village story.

Set in the borders of Scotland, Secrets in Prior's Ford is going to be the first (in many I hope) tales based around this village and its many varied characters. Look out for the vicar in this case a woman, Naomi who is larger than life and tries to remain on the fence when dealing with the problems and disputes within the village. Clarissa is newly widowed and we watch as she finds secrets about her past and move forward in her recovery thanks to the village handyman, Alastair. The village shop with Sam and Marcy is the hotbed of gossip on both sides of the counter and there is the obvious local pub who have what appears to be two ordinary people, Glen and Libby in charge, but two people actually hiding a fairly big secret.

The big house is always a main central place in village stories and Prior's Ford is no different with Linn Hall, an old building slowly falling apart due to lack of money but not due to lack of care and love from the Ralston-Kerrs.

The thread of the story revolves around the possibility of reopening an old quarry which could bring work and money to the village but also destroy the view and environment. It would also be a lifeline for Linn Hall. This effects everybody in the village drawing them together, driving them apart and also opening the closets to let skeletons fall out and surprise others.

This is a good escapism read and while doesn't tax the brain overly, it does let your imagination develop as mine did creating the set and the scene of Prior's Ford. I will be waiting to escape into the next book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inoffensive easy read, 1 Mar 2008
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Mrs. V. Bradley "bookaholic" (Kidderminster, Worcs., England) - See all my reviews
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I must admit as a lover of the novels by Rebecca Shaw and Ann Purser this novel by Eve Houston is a little lacking in sparkle. However it is an easy, comfortable read and the characters in the main are easy to relate to. The story hasn't much depth but it is one which grips the reader with its gentle prose. When I had finished reading it I was left wanting to know what happened to Clarissa after the current story ended, and shall look forward to Eve Houston's next book about Prior's Ford.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COMPLETE BLISS, 15 Oct 2011
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I only bought this book because a friend recommended it as I love rebecca shaws novels & get withdrawal symptoms as she only brings one out once a year .......... well Im so pleased I did a wonderful book of village life that is so relaxing to read its easy to get to know the characters & very soon you are part of that village I would highly recommend this book for readers who like stories of village life & fans of rebecca shaw
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 2 Sep 2013
By 
Janet Davies (Falmouth Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secrets In Prior's Ford: Number 1 in series (Prior's Ford Novel Series) (Kindle Edition)
This is the first book that I've read by Eve, the stories are similar to Rebecca Shaw, she's amazing, you should try her books as well, you won't be disappointed.
This book deals with the village split in two, about the closed down quarry, which may be 're-opened, and a lot of villagers don't want it to be, emotions run high, if you like this sort of story, you will love it, I'm now going for book 2 in the series
Happy reading,
Janet Davies
Falmouth, Cornwall
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4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets in prior's ford, 22 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Secrets In Prior's Ford: Number 1 in series (Prior's Ford Novel Series) (Kindle Edition)
I have always been a big fan of Miss Read, I did enjoy reading this one, but I do not think Eve Houston can capture the countryside like Miss Read could in her books, but I will try the second book in the series and see how we go
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great village story, 28 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Secrets In Prior's Ford: Number 1 in series (Prior's Ford Novel Series) (Kindle Edition)
As a lover of Miss Read and M C Beaton I very much enjoyed reading this book. She developers her characters skilfully with enough description to enable the reader to visualise the scene. Can't wait to read the next one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it., 19 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Secrets In Prior's Ford: Number 1 in series (Prior's Ford Novel Series) (Kindle Edition)
First one read and really loved it.... Soon got to know the characters, a very easy read and I can't wait to read the rest.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Clunky and thin, 15 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Secrets In Prior's Ford: Number 1 in series (Prior's Ford Novel Series) (Kindle Edition)
Having run out of novels, in desperation I picked this up on the "free shelf" in a French campsite. Such an awkward book with characterisation larded on with a trowel, mistakes with characters names ( mixing them up). But ... somehow the story (and having plenty of time on my hands) kept me at it in spite of all that. Will a quarry be re-opened and all the intrigue surrounding that ....
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