Saturday, 9 February 2019

Book Review - Finding Hope at Hillside Farm by Rachael Lucas

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Title: Finding Hope at Hillside Farm
Author: Rachael Lucas
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 7th February 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Finding Hope at Hillside Farm is a heartwarming tale of loss, love and new beginnings by Rachael Lucas.

Hillside Farm, nestled in the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside, is a safe haven for Ella. Working with her aunt Bron, she runs her own business, sharing her love of horses to help those in emotional need. Living on the remote farm, and with just the horses and her aunt for company, Ella thinks she has finally found a place where she can forget her own past and find peace.

But the arrival of a small girl called Hope and her father Harry changes everything. As Ella helps the pair come to terms with their loss, she realizes she too deserves happiness. But is it too late to find it?

It has been ages since there has been a new Rachael Lucas book (well I haven't read the YA ones, I'm afraid), and its such a joy to be able to read another wonderful story from this author. 

Previously before this book I had heard of animal therapy and apart from dogs, I hadn't really thought about any other animals with therapeutic qualities.  But seeing how Ella works with the horses and the people that come to her for equine therapy, I'm sold on the thought that horses can do a lot more for a person, than just be ridden. 

I loved Hillside Farm and what Ella is achieving with these horses. I loved seeing how she was moving out of her comfort zone to build the business while her aunt Bron is in Australia.  

In the small Welsh village that Ella lives in, Jenny and Leo are renting a cottage with their 8 year old granddaughter Hope. 

Hope is horse mad, has been through a tough time, and although Ella previously hadn't been working with children, she can't disappoint Hope and starts to work with her.  However nothing is as simple as it seems and Hope's father Harry, is a rather interesting character. 

I was also curious to discover just what had driven Ella to live in such a remote location, and the pasts of all the key players are fascinating.   

This has a lovely feel to the story, its uplifting, its heartwarming, there are horses, character development and they are all really likeable and relatable to.  Set in a picturesque location, this is a really great book that I could barely put down,  I was whizzing through the pages and couldn't believe how fast I was getting through the book.  Utterly absorbing and I wish I could meet all of Elle's horses. 

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

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