ARC review | Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

A light, breezy read for chick-lit devotees.

Kitty's Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow book cover

Full title: Kitty’s Countryside Dream: a feel good romantic comedy about life, love and family
Kindle Edition: 309 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2016 by Bookouture

I was given an advance e-copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The blurb (click on the cover image above to go to the book’s Goodreads page):  New home. New life. New beginning. It’s time for Kitty Lewis to start living again…

When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it’s time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realises there’s an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbour Tom…

But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, the discovery of a long-hidden diary,at the farm, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. Who is Violet and what is her message for Kitty? As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream fall to pieces? When it comes to life in the country, nothing is ever quite as it seems…

My take:

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I have a problematic relationship with women’s fiction and particularly “chick lit”. Some examples I love, while others have failed to grab me. Nevertheless, I keep trying new books within the genre because you never know when you’ll come across your next favourite read/author and I would never rule out a title solely because of its genre if there are other things about it which appeal to me.

And just look at that cover! It’s so sunny and pretty… and so it is with great sadness that I have to report that the contents of the book turned out not to be my cup of tea.

I liked the countryside setting, there was plenty going on in terms of plots and uncovering of family secrets, and there were a couple of incidents which made me laugh (look out for the Jurassic Park moment: very funny). My issue was with the main character who is also the first person narrator.

First person narrators are a big gamble. If the voice connects with the reader you’ve got them hooked and they’ll follow the narrator to hell and back. But if the reader doesn’t find the character behind the “I” sympathetic, then you’ve lost them. And, unfortunately, that’s what happened to me. While I appreciate Kitty has been through a lot in her recent past, I felt she was rather immature for her age and I lost patience with her on a few occasions.

However, I appreciate that many readers will not be as hard-nosed as me! So, if you’re a chick-lit devotee and looking for a light, breezy read, this could well be for you.

Thank you to Bookouture for giving me an e-copy of the book via NetGalley.


Claire Huston / Art and Soul
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3 thoughts on “ARC review | Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

  1. Oh! I read the first line and I thought ‘that’s me!’ but then … This is actually next up on my Kindle, fair dues for the review because I still want to read but it’s always interesting to see if two people draw the same conclusion!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: WWW Wednesday 20th January 2016 | Art and Soul

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