A Year at Appleyard Farm – Emma Davies

Previously released as four short stories, covering the four seasons all combined into one book to lose yourself in.

Staring in Winter we meet the main characters who feature throughout all four seasons; Freya and Sam.

Having only recently lost her father, Freya is now struggling to keep hold of Appleyard Farm and it looks like she is going to have to sell to her nearest neighbours, brothers Sam and Stephen. Trouble is there is a lot of history with these three.

As Christmas is looming, Freya throws herself into her mistletoe sales quite literally and it looks like she will be spending her last Christmas alone at Appleyard Farm but a guardian angel seems to be working for Freya and all the history becomes present and it seems that perhaps that and Freya and the farm have a different future.

Moving into Spring, whilst Freya’s story still runs it is in the main dominated by her friend Merry. Embarking on a new adventure in moving, staring up a new business and bringing up a little baby, Merry throws herself into it all.

But the house and shop she has bought has a history and there is something about it all which is seeming into Merry and she has visions of how things should be. The house and it’s previous occupant had a colourful if not sad past and Merry wants to pay tribute to them forever and it seems the house is going to give up all its secrets.

As Summer bursts onto the page, Merry has her dream life up and running, Freya is settling into something different and Willow, another of Freya’s friends appears and she has a plan of her own.

Willow was picked on as a child because of her mother’s strong sixth sense and it seems Willow has inherited it. When a bad dream affects all parts of her life and her husband seems to be drifting away, Willow knows she needs a back up plan – and that plan is ice cream.

What could be better than using ingredients that Freya is growing at her farm as well as foraging in the fields around where she lives, producing glorious products and selling it all in Merry’s shop. As the dreams change, Willow realises she has been carrying something else and it seems that all she hopes is about to come true.

Autumn arrives just as Summer fades and it seems that we are back full circle to Freya and Appleyard Farm, but with relationships progressing, it has suddenly become infectious and love is blossoming in all seasons. Laura thought her love had blossomed and died but she was fascinated by Freya’s regular visits to the graveyard and in turn Freya was fascinated by the wreaths that Laura leaves by the gravestones.

Could the two of them have a potential future together, can Laura provide the decorations that Freya needs and can Freya prove that love can blossom once again?

This is a wonderful book to get completely lost in and experience all four seasons in one day because you will not want to put it down. Emma Davies writes some wonderful stories and they cover so much in emotional depth and are certainly not all fluffy and frothy. A book to be read at any time of the year – because you know no matter what happens the seasons will come round again and again, and next time it might be just the season for you!


Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

A Year at Appleyard Farm is out now.