Saturday 27 February 2021

The Honey Farm On The Hill - Jo Thomas || Review


We never forget the one who got away.

Eighteen years ago Nell fell in love in the mountains of Crete and life changed for ever. Nell's daughter, Demi, has never met her dad. Nell never saw him again.

When she gets the chance to return to the hilltop town of Vounoplagia - where everything began - Nell can't resist the urge to go back and find him.

Working on a honey farm perched high up in the hills, there's plenty to keep her busy. And she will quickly realise the town harbours just as many secrets as she does.

But if Nell's favourite romantic films are right, there's a happy ending in store for each of us. All she has to do is seek out the magic of the mountains...

I am such a huge fan of Jo Thomas, her writing just transports you to the destination you are visiting, you sample the sights, the sounds and the foods in a style unlike any other author. When i was seeking my current read i knew i wanted a holiday, an escape from reality for a while so i was obviously going to pick something by her. 

The Honey Farm On The Hill takes us to Crete and the little hilltop town of Vounoplagia where life has carried on since Nells last visit 18 years previous. When her job in the uk is put on hold for a while after a fire puts the factory out of work and her relationship falling apart she takes the chance to go work in Crete, after all when she fled before she left the love of her life and took her unborn daughter with her.

Given the chance to go back means Nell can see him once more - find out what happened and find herself once more. However the town has its own secrets, the place is not the thriving, the honey farm is empty and the magical herb Dittany is not thriving, everything will return once love returns to the mountains. At least that is what the town believes.

A story of second chance  at finding love, finding yourself and so much more. It is a truly wonderful read that really transports the reader. You are placed in the centre of the town that needs that support, you really feel like you are alongside Nell trying to heal the mountain, to try and bring the bees, to get answers.

Nell is a strong, fiery character who more than anything wants answers for the past, to right wrongs and to be herself once more and Crete is somewhere she can start to do that. For Nell crete is in her soul, its a part of her and shaped part of the person she has become but its also her family - her daughter hasn't met her dad, she doesn't know about the large extended family that are sat round together.

As Nell spends each day getting busier and busier taking on more tasks to help support the community and allow it to thrive once more, she is met with battle and challenge along the way finding out what is right and wrong and what really has changed since she left so many years ago.

I simply loved this book, it was as ever such an experience to read. You are lost in the pages for a while as you sample the delights around the dinner tables, the smells of the town and the wonderful views early in the morning. A wonderful read with a real in depth narrative too and characters you wont want to forget.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

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