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on 6 November 2001
This is an excellent read. I was unsure when reading the first chapter as I couldn't see how I could care much about the characters but they gradually grow on you! By the end of the book you feel like they are old friends and can almost envisage what happens next! It is carefully written with the authors usual wry sense of humour and descriptions that take you right into the heart of the story. There are poignant moments and I felt especially that the character of Gabriel was very well portrayed. The sympathy for him does not happen automatically but gaining insights into his past allows both Clara and the reader understand and warm to him more. There are the usual variety of characters and, as in all the other Erica James novels, you are drawn into their world and cares. I couldn't put this book down and spent a very enjoyable few hours in the company of the cast and the descriptions of the Peak District. Highly recommended to all fans of Erica James and if you've never read one of her books before then start with this one!
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on 17 October 2015
this starts slowly and does get a bit better as it goes on.
lthe big problem is that you believe that a bright sparky woman who has an excellent job and is a presumed relatively high earner is silly enough to embark on a affair with a married man and then not to ensure they are using failsafe conraceptive measures......

The resulting child is portryedvas super- bright for his age but is actually cloyingly sweet and unable to mix with his peer group no doubt due to the fact tat he spends all his time directing winning smiles to adoring adults.

rest of the cast include a very grumpy old man who reveals a heart of gold and an idealistic modern day ' mr chips' . bit part characters incude the older brother who is made to pay for his flash harry tendencies by first going bankrupt and the sloping foff down south to repent his ways.

and so it goes on with one stock character after another.

It is well enough written but there is a lack of heart which seems to indicate that the author is just manipulating pople and events for effect and doesn't believe in the story any more than we can,

this was my first Erica Jame and she is so popular that I think Iwill have to give her another go as, surely, she must have written better books thn this.
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on 9 August 2014
How is it that Erica James always manages to get streight to my heart with her stories?

There is a sort of quiet introduction, like the silence after heavy rain when the sky is clearing up and suddenly as the sun explodes, we are in the middle of Erica's latest story where it seems as if absolutely everything can happen.

As it does to Clara and her son Ned when they are setting out on a five month adventure in their camper Winnie. Going where their fancy takes them, after one week they get to the small town of Deaconsbridge in the Peak District. And here unfolds this wonderful story in all its glory. Old grumpy Mr. Liberty at Mermaid House, his son Jonah, Shirley at the Mermaid Cafe, Archie at Second Best and his mother Bessie - all of Clara and Ned's new friends in this lovely story. Hertwarming and funny. Sadness and joy hand in hand as always when life happens.

Praise for Erica James and this wonderful read. Luckily there are more of her brilliant stories awaiting me.

Hugely recommended!!
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on 10 May 2017
From the very start I got hooked into this lovely story. Oh how I wished to have a camper van and do as Clara did and travel this beautiful country, quite jealous if truth be known. Who knows it's never too late I suppose.
The book is a l lovely heart warming story. I love Ericas' books as they make me smile and feel good at heart
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on 1 May 2017
Loved this book. Obviously you can guess the happy ever after ending but getting was really enjoyable. The characters were strong, especially Gabriel and the banter and dialogue between him and Clara was good. Story was sad in places.
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on 19 August 2013
I very much enjoyed reading this book. It really resonated with me and sadly it only took me 3 days to race through its 485 pages as I couldn't get enough of it.

The freedom of leaving a life of high pressure and spontaneously roaming the country has appealed to me ever since I read The History of Mr Poly at school, some 50 years ago, which had a profound effect on me.

Whilst the main character Clara initially intends to take a temporary break from her life, like Mr Poly, she learns about what truly matters and follows her passions to a far better place.

Wouldn't we all love to have the courage to do the same?
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on 5 May 2017
A lovely book, I had to have it on my Kindle which I find easier to read in bed. It is a feel good book which I recommend to all.
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on 6 January 2018
One of her older ones, but I loved it.
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on 29 June 2017
Pretty good book but not my face Erica James, slightly harder to get into than normal
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on 11 January 2018
I have now read this book three times. After reading many books , this one stays with me. It is , heart felt, sad, funny and romantic, and touches on the ups and downs of every day life.
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