Christmas would not be Christmas if it was not for tinsel, turkey and all the trimmings and this includes a new novel from Trisha Ashley. 2013 is no different and she introduces us to some more residents of Sticklepond.
Cally has returned home to her mother’s house, leaving everything she knows in London and all her friends with the aim of saving money. Money she needs to send her sick daughter, Stella for a pioneering operation in America. It is not going to be easy, but Cally thinks she can maintain some sense of normality with her cookery writing even from the deepest part of Lancashire, and have the support of her mother, the only other person in her life. Stella’s father having made his choice long before she was born.
For Cally she has enough to fill her days, but when she meets Jago and finds herself opening up to him so easily and quickly, it looks like she may have someone else that loves her and Stella. Jago has his own past issues which he is dealing with as well as trying to forge his career owning a specialist cake shop. When the most wonderful shop comes available in Sticklepond it seems that it is destiny that Cally should be able to help him whilst he helps Stella. The past is never that far away it seems and when it can be linked in some rather interesting ways, it is not going to be easy for either Cally or Jago to let go of it.
This is a tale of warmth, friendship and love in its many forms. All centered round the village of Sticklepond who take into their hearts Stella the sick child and start to raise money to ensure that the operation can go ahead. Characters from previous Sticklepond based novels appear but there is enough background that you know enough about them and their interest and passion in this small yet important village. A village full of chocolate shops, wedding shops and even witches and warlocks. There is love and hope in this village and it draws the reader right in, making them want to up sticks and move their straight away. That is the beauty of Trisha Ashley’s writing and why I would easily recommend her if you want a great comfort read.
I have one more Sticklepond based novel to read and it is on my shelf, I was so tempted to pick it up after finishing this one, but I did resist. I have nearly read all of Trisha’s work and thoroughly enjoy her novels, I just need to work out which ones I have not read.