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The Hidden Cottage Hardcover – 14 Feb 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 433 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409130843
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409130840
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 272,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A good book is a holiday essential and this one fits the bill perfectly. James is a true page-turner writer which is why she's a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. (WELSH COUNTRY MAGAZINE)

Book Description

Family ties, secrets, love and guilt are woven together with warmth, honesty and wit in this delightful novel from Sunday Times bestseller Erica James.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
if you have a few hours spare this pleasant read in the usual Erica James style is worth buying-based around a country village and a family at a point of crisis. The return of a handsome, wealthy and charismatic man to the village he knew as a poor boy after buying the cottage of the title acts as a catalyst for the events. No one seems to work much or indeed need to do so, and with one exception, almost everyone is unfailingly pleasant. James does children well in my experience, and there's an excellent study of a young girl. Rather frothy, not particularly memorable and certainly not one of her best, lacking the depth, detail and insight of her best books, but nicely written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyable read but predictable and not very meaty. I feel Erica James' layer books have less substance and humour, if applicable, than her earlier books. Great shame as her earlier books were very good.
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Format: Hardcover
It was with some trepidation that I started to read this book because, having enjoyed almost all of Erica James' books, the last two were disappointments for me. However, from the first intriguing chapter I was hopeful, and before long I was certain that this was another good read.

I feel that her style is a little different in this one. There's less humour and not so much evidence of her astounding talent for wry observation. This is not to say that this book merely echoes the lacklustre, contrived and sickly sweet tone of "Promises Promises" and "The Real Katie Lavender". On the contrary, I found much to recommend in this change of direction, since a change in an author's work prevents things from becoming hackneyed.

We still have her wonderfully portrayed, interesting characters. Of particular interest is the character of Tattie. She's a cross between a sort of modern day (not to mention way too old)Pollyanna and the character Isobel from "The Queen of New Beginnings". I did find her perfect mother approach irritating at times, though, and felt she would benefit from being locked in a room until she had read and digested books such as How Not to Be a Perfect Mother, or Confessions of a Slummy Mummy. We still have Erica's insight into human nature and her habit of putting her finger right on the pulse. The added ingredient, which I've never seen in any of her other works, is an atmosphere of mysticism which she manages to let seep through the entire book. There is also more of a philosophical element - in a good way, not in a navel gazing way.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read all of Erica James books I can honestly say this is another one that I thoroughly enjoyed....it had happiness, sadness and humour. By the end of the book I felt as if I personally knew all the characters and had formed a picture of them all in my mind, as I had the village of Little Pelham. The sooner Erica's next book is published the happier I will be!
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mia's life is plodding along reasonably happily. Her three children - Jensen, Eliza and Daisy - are grown up though still a worry at times. Then Owen Fletcher - attractive, unattached, and keen to join in with the life of the village moves into the run-down cottage known as The Hidden Cottage. The various events which follow on from that totally disrupt Mia's peaceful life and force her to decide where her priorities and whether she should continue with her marriage to Jeff.

I did enjoy this novel and I liked Owen and Mia and Mia's children. I never felt I got a real picture of Jeff at all and the author's attempts to show the reader what was going on inside his head didn't ring true to me. There was something jarring about the language used that didn't seem right somehow and didn't convey to me what Jeff was really like. He seemed like a caricature rather than a character.

If you want a story about a small group of people in a pleasant village with some added sub plots about the younger generation then you may well enjoy this story. I thought it was written but some sections seemed to me not to be as good as others. I'm sure this author's many fans will enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My first introduction to Erica James, and what a treat!! A wonderful book about life, love, and families. About loss and new beginnings. About different people, different destinies.

There are many players in this story but first of all there is Mia and her family, her husband Jeff and her children Jensen, Eliza and Daisy. Jeff is commuting between home and work in Brussels. He particularly adores his favourite child, young Daisy, and his and Mia's seemingly happy marriage. Mia's world is divided between her family and her hat shop. She loves their home, Medlar House in the picturesque village of Little Pelham, and with her close friends Muriel and Georgina she is fairly content with her life.

Until Owen Fletcher moves into The Hidden Cottage. As a child Owen grew up in the village and used to visit spinster sisters Gretchen and Lillian and their piano playing in The Hidden Cottage. Now he has sold his business in London and decided to start a new life in Little Pelham.

Little Pelham is a small village where everybody know each other and Owen soon gets acquainted with both Mia and her family, Muriel and Georgina, and is introduced to every aspect of village life.

When Mia's family is gathering to celebrate Jensen's thirtieth birthday, Jensen brings with him a girlfriend with a nine year old daugther and Daisy is dropping a most unexpected bombshell. It soon appears to be a turning point in all their lives and Mia's world is changed forever.

Good and bad, unhappy and happy. Life in all its facets. Erica James tells this story with much warmth and insight. This is not easy chicklit, in fact its surprising that the style of the book cover indicates a typical chicklit tale. Nothing wrong with that, but this is so entirely different.
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