March 16, 2021
Blurb: Needing an escape, Dora swapped city living for life as a shepherdess on her grandad’s Yorkshire farm. More than a decade later Dora is still there, now farming the fifty acres and caring for the one hundred rare sheep by herself. She never hears the call of the city, but instead relishes the peace and simplicity of life on the Moors.
When Dora’s glamorous but quarrelsome sister Cass, her teenage nephew Thor and his handsome tutor Nat, turn up for an unexpected and unreasonably long stay, life on the farm is thrown into chaos. Cass brings with her unwelcome memories from the past, and of someone who once stole Dora’s heart.
Dora takes refuge in the comforting routine of the farm, the sheep never allowing her too much time to dwell. But, as the seasons change, the snow starts to melt, and as lambs begin to fill the fields, Dora can’t keep hiding in the hills. Because even though she’s trying, Dora can’t run away from a love that never really let her go…
Dora is happy working her late granddad’s sheep farm in Yorkshire supporting a rare breed of sheep, it’s a very different life than the fake, out-of-control one she was living in London. But when her entitled sister, Cass, and nephew, Hawthorn, now known as Thor, along with her nephew’s tutor Nat come to stay with her when their place is being renovated, she realizes that while she may be contented, she may also have been hiding from something in her past she’s never been able to get over.
As with the last Jane Lovering romance I read (Christmas Secrets by the Sea, review here), Home on Folly Farm is so much more than the typical romantic comedy. The characters are full of surprises and ever-evolving, and there are almost as many tears as laughter (no angst, thank you). Even the seemingly entitled sister, Cass, harbors a secret that suddenly makes her seem more human. And, maybe that’s one of the big themes in this book–people are (usually) much more than what they show you.
Because of my personal viewpoints, I loved that Folly Farm supported a rare sheep breed and not for meat but for their wool. And the sheep brought comedy and heart to the book as well and even some tears.
Some (maybe most) of the snarky humor is at the expense of Cass who is oblivious as to what it means to live a normal life because her parents have insured that she never had to. Why the snark was funny, it went on a bit too long at Cass’ expense, in my opinion.
Home on Folly Farm felt more somber than the earlier Lovering novels I’d read, but perhaps that is a sign of the times. Or me. It’s possible I just felt some of the underlying sadness more.
Regardless, there is a lot going on in this multi-layered novel, enough so that no one would be bored. Home on Folly Farm has excellent characterization, plot, pacing, and dogs and sheep and the wonderful setting of a Yorkshire. What more could you ask for?
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 out of 5 butterflies