About The Winter That Made Us
When Tess finds herself unexpectedly alone and back in Ribblemill, the childhood village she thought she’d escaped, she’s sure she can survive a temporary stay. She’s spent a lifetime making the best of things, hasn’t she?
Determined to throw herself into village life, Tess starts a choir and gathers a team of volunteers to restore the walled garden at Ramblings, the local stately home. Everything could be perfect, if she weren’t sharing a cottage and a cat with a man whose manner is more prickly than the nettles she’s removing…
As winter approaches, Tess finds herself putting down her own roots as fast as she’s pulling them up in the garden. But the ghosts of the past hover close by, and Tess must face them if she’s to discover whether home is where her heart has been all along.
My review of The Winter That Made Us
The Winter That Made Us is a touching story about two lost and damaged souls who are thrown together in a tiny village where everyone knows your business. Tess is back home from the big city after waving her husband off to work overseas. She tells her parents that he'll be gone for a year, hence why she has come back home. From the very moment I met Tess on the page I knew that there was so much more to this story, and surrounding the relationship with her mother; what we see on the surface isn't always what's inside.
Tess rents a room in Cobweb Cottage, and while she accepts this offer from Cassie, it's owner, so too does Noah, after receiving the same offer from Barney, Cassie's husband. So, these two characters set up a shared home under the roof of Cobweb Cottage and what follows is a truly magical, poignant and consuming story.
The real star of this book for me, was Noah. He won my heart from the very first moment I met him. Here is a man with a damaged soul who thinks he will never be whole again. I was deeply invested in his story. I wanted everything to work out for him. For him to be happy and to have a real place in the community. There is such beautiful writing surrounding this character, in the fact that he is a man of nature, of the outdoors, that he smells of the earth and fresh air.
This book does tackle serious issues, and a huge theme is that of mental health. It was obvious to me that the author had done much research surrounding walled gardens (I now must visit one) and the fact that gardening and having your hands in the soil is not only beneficial for physical health, but is also good for the mind and soul.
This book really is a heart-warming read. It's a book about community, that there is a place for everyone and that at the end of the day we are all the same, in that we need to feel loved and be able to give love. This book broke, and then mended my heart. A gorgeous, uplifting and poignant read. All the stars.
With thanks to the author who sent me a digital copy for review purposes.
The Winter That Made Us is published by Accent Press and is available to buy now