Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Book Review - The Honey Farm on the Hill by Jo Thomas

Amazon UK
Title: The Honey Farm on the Hill
Author: Jo Thomas
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline Review
Publication Date: 24th August 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

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...

Jo Thomas takes you there.

Transport yourself to Crete this summer, to a rather special Honey Farm (that is missing its bees), a huge mystery as to what is happening to rare herb, masses of great Greek food, and the search for a lost love, in this wonderful new novel from Jo Thomas. 

Incredibly enjoyable to read and a relatively quick read at that, it is full of one main great story plus a few other threads interlinking in. This is a book where I learnt a whole new acronym that I had never come across before, for Nell  decides to spend summer in Crete as a WWOOFer (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farm), on a Honey Farm near a village she spent time in many years ago. She is also hoping to track down the love of her life, and father of her now grown up child, but isn't sure if he even still lives there or what the reactions to her will be. 

I loved how Nell slotted into life in Crete with Kostas, Maria and Mitera who own the honey farm on the hill. Learning about the properties of various herbs and spices and the general way life in rural Crete was eye opening and made me really long to be a part of life in Vounaplagia.  Nell having been a mother for 18 years, is slowly trying to rediscover who she is, while her daughter has an adventure in London. 

This is a rather apt book to read in summer, as often the discussion of how to keep bees safe emerges, as they play such a critical role in the world, and this is a story that encompasses that as a theme. Admittedly I could have done without descriptions of angry swarms of bees as I tend to run a mile if I see a single bee, but other than that, there is definitely a useful message to be taken from that element of the book. 

The writing is evocative and I could practically smell the herbs in the air in Crete, taste the various foods and when there was the sense of danger, my heart was beating extra fast for the characters. This is easily my favourite book so far from Jo Thomas, an author who seems to improve with each book and they are all fabulous! 

Thank you to Netgalley and Headline for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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