Welcome to my stop on the book tour for Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland!
Every family has its secrets, and at Hedgehog Hollow there is no exception…
It was always Samantha’s dream to run her beautiful rescue centre, Hedgehog Hollow, full-time. But just as her wish comes true, she becomes a victim of her own kindness when she finds herself with a house full of guests – all with their own problems and secrets – looking to her for support.
When her self-absorbed cousin, Chloe, unexpectedly turns up at the farm – swiftly handing over her baby to Samantha to care for – trouble is definitely brewing. Especially as Chloe won’t tell anyone why she’s left her husband, James…
As Samantha juggles new hedgehog arrivals, family dramas and her own health challenges, it soon becomes clear that she needs to start putting herself first for once. Little does she know that life-changing secrets from the past are about to unravel and turn their lives upside down…
Return to glorious Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a heartwarming, emotional but uplifting story of family, friendship and moving on from the past.
You Can Purchase the Book: Amazon
Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community set in Yorkshire where she lives. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast and her Hedgehog Hollow series takes them into beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.
I was drawn to this book because of the lovely cover and who could resist a novel/series that features hedgehogs! I am disappointed in myself for not immersing myself into the Hedgehog Hollow series until now and I need to read all the others ASAP! I missed the first two novels in the series, so I read this as a standalone. Although there was the right amount of backstory to help the reader catch-up, I would recommend to start with book one and work their way up to this one. If read in order, the reader can develop a deeper connection to the overall story and to the characters that are featured throughout the series. There are many complicated family dynamics, so, for me reading this as a standalone, it took me a little bit to piece it all together, but it was not impossible.
Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow is a fitting title as Chloe, Samantha’s cousin, from the previous novels has shown up with her infant son, Samuel. She is no longer with her husband James, but the reasons are initially kept hidden. In addition to Chloe, Samantha has James, her father, Beth, and their two children all living at the farmhouse. It is a busy time at the rescue, so Samantha hires interns to assist with animal care and accounting. There are, therefore, many characters to keep track of, but it was easy enough to keep everyone in order. Although the novel includes plots for multiple characters, the main story focuses on Samantha and Chloe and is written from duel perspectives.
Josh was a super sweet character and fiancé as he is very supportive and understanding of Samantha. She is a very compassionate character that not only wants to help animals, but also assist those around her any way that she can. Sometimes helping everyone else leaves no room for helping herself, so Samantha goes through a lot of growth as she tries to balance her want for helping others without forgetting herself along the way. The themes of family, friendship, and love throughout this novel was well thought out and incorporated in the story and it never felt forced.
At first, it is frustrating trying to figure Chloe out with her motivations and backstory. She is full of secrets and they are slowly revealed throughout the story. I have heard that this character was fairly unlikeable in the previous novels, so my curiosity is definitely peaked to go back and read the others to see what she was like before this story. She was okay at the beginning of this book where I neither liked her or hated her, but I had a lot of sympathy and love for her by the end. I would not call her a favorite, for me, but I loved how complex she became with many layers added to her character from the beginning to the end of this story.
The novel itself does end on a cliffhanger, so it looks like I will be returning to Hedgehog Hollow as I am now firmly invested in the story and need to figure out what will happen next. I absolutely loved all the facts and care tips for hedgehogs at the end. The story is light-hearted and easy to breeze through, yet it does touch on deeper topics, such as PTSD and the struggles of being a new mom. Now that I have read this novel, it is going to be difficult waiting until the next one is released, as I want to keep going and see what will happen next. As excellent first read from Jessica Redland that will definitely not be my last!
**I give a special thank you to Rachel @rararesources, the author, Jessica Redland, and the publisher, Boldwood Books for the opportunity to participate via Netgalley with this excellent and entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**
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