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BOOK REVIEW - A Village Affair, Julie Houston

What the back says...

Cassie Beresford has recently landed her dream job as deputy head at her local, idyllic village primary school, Little Acorns. So, the last thing she needs is her husband of twenty years being 'outed' at a village charity auction - he has been having an affair with one of her closest friends.

As if that weren't enough to cope with, Cassie suddenly finds herself catapulted into the head teacher position, and at the forefront of a fight to ward off developers determined to concrete over the beautiful landscape.

But through it all, the irresistible joy of her pupils, the reality of keeping her teenage children on the straight and narrow, her irrepressible family and friends, and the possibility of new love, mean what could have been the worst year ever, actually might be the best yet...

Well, this was a story right up my street! This is the kind of read that I like to call my 'Sunday book' where you curl up on the sofa with a blanket and a cup of tea and lose yourself in a good story for a couple of hours. In fact, I devoured this book over two evenings, completely losing track of time, completely immersed in the life of Cassie Beresford.

Cassie was such a well written character, right from the beginning you could feel her heartbreak when she found out about her husband's affair and all the different emotions that a person would go through faced with that situation. There were also some amazing laugh out loud moments, I mean, who doesn't find an inflatable penis amusing!

Julie included such detail in the story and created really likeable characters, from Cassie's family to her circle of friends. Even the ones that were meant to be unlikeable were very well written - I'm sure we have all known a Karen Adams at some point in our lives. I loved how, even though Cassie was hurt and betrayed by her best friend, the story didn't concentrate on tearing other women down. Of course, she was angry and wanted to retaliate, who wouldn't? But while there were moments of her revenge, this wasn't a revenge story. More focussed on the fact, not only was Cassie grieving for the end of her marriage, but also for this friendship that had been more like a sisterhood. My favourite character though was Fiona, she is definitely someone that I could be friends with.

This was a story of change, friendship and family and one big twist that I wasn't expecting. I would have loved to have seen more of Richie and Julian, did they all keep in touch? I believe there are many more stories to be told from all of these characters and I hope to read them in the future.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it, a fantastic story to lose yourself in.

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