Scandal hit party girl Lucy Conway needs to leave London fast, so she packs her bags and escapes to the sleepy village of Cranbridge to take care of her beloved Uncle Frank.
But the country village isn’t quite as idyllic as she remembers. To make matters worse, her Uncle’s pride and joy, The Cranbridge Times, is close to going out of business.
Editor-at-Large Tom Addison is having a crisis of confidence and needs help if the newspaper is going to survive.
With time on her hands, can Lucy work some magic and together save the family newspaper?
Over a long, hot summer, friendships are made and hearts begin to heal. And, with the help of a stray dog, perhaps Lucy and Tom can find their very own new beginning…
I have reviewed the novel below but first, Alison and Boldwood have shared an extract. Grab that hot drink, biscuit and comfy place and enjoy.
***** beginning of extract*****
As Lucy drove across the countryside in her Ford Fiesta, she found herself singing along to the radio.
She knew she should be feeling more miserable than she did at that moment. After all, she had no career to speak of. Her ex-lover had turned out to be married. Plus her parents were still upset about her so-called ‘affair’ ending up on the front pages of the newspapers and the paparazzi were still camped out on the street outside their home.
And yet, despite all of that, Lucy felt happier than she had done all week. Spending a night away from her home to stay in a hotel near to the hospital meant that she hadn’t had to endure her parents’ disapproving silence over an awkward dinner and could relax. Uncle Frank had been told that he was likely to be discharged from hospital in the next few days. She felt relieved that it had not been anything more serious although he would be heading home with a large boot to protect the small fracture in his foot and would need some help getting around. Lucy was thankful that she had the time to step in and assist him in his recovery.
As she drove further into the countryside, her mood lightened even more. It was the middle of June and the air coming through the gap in the car window that she had opened was both fresh and warm. When the song on the radio finished, the sound of birdsong filled the air instead.
This particular journey always brought a smile to her face. Each school holiday, her parents had carried on working and hadn’t wanted her under their feet so she had been packed off to stay with her aunt and uncle in Cranbridge. The summers had been particularly special. She remembered paddling in the shallow river that ran through the middle of the village. Ice cream melting down onto her sticky fingers. The smell of home cooking and freshly made cakes just out of the oven. Hugs from her Aunt Jane. Laughter with her uncle.
Best of all, away from the constant criticisms from her parents over her failed academic record, it was a place to relax and enjoy herself. She had always tried to remain cheerful despite everything. She was thankful for her parents’ wealth and the security it had afforded her growing up, but it seemed to overshadow everything including any kind of affection. But her aunt and uncle had made up for it tenfold over the years.
When she finally reached the village, she parked her car next to Uncle Frank’s bungalow and got out, looking around and smiling at the familiar view.
Cranbridge looked as beautiful as always, with its sandy-coloured brick cottages lining the riverbanks and the green rolling hills surrounding the village peeping through from between each house. Instead of a main street, there was a wide shallow river running down the middle of the village, with three ancient pedestrian stone bridges connecting either side over the clear, bubbling water.
The sun was high in the bright blue sky and glistened onto the river invitingly. The front gardens of the small row of bungalows next to where she stood were filled with brightly coloured flowers, butterflies and the buzz of bumble bees.
She checked her watch and decided she’d have to pick up Uncle Frank’s mail and some spare clothes for him after her meeting with his editor at the newspaper. She really didn’t want to be late, even though she still wasn’t at all sure what she could possibly offer them.
***** end of extract*****
About Alison Sherlock:
Alison Sherlock is the author of the bestselling Willow Tree Hall books. Alison enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Her new series for Boldwood is set in a fictional Cotswold Village and the first title was published in July 2020.
My verdict on The Village of Lost and Found.
It was so wonderful to be back in Cranbridge and to see some familiar faces. It was like catching up with old friends. Don’t worry if you’ve not the read the first book. The Village of Lost and Found can be read as a standalone.
This novel is told from the point of view of both Lucy and Tom and I feel that this gives the reader a real understanding of these characters and their stories are woven together well. Both of them feel so lost at the beginning of the story and I couldn’t wait to see whether Cranbridge would work its magic.
I found myself reading this well into the night, losing complete track of time. I didn’t want the story to end and have such a book hangover. Please don’t let this be the last we see of this village and people. Pretty please. I am not going to say much more as I don’t want to give anything else away.
It has love, friendship, self discovery and above all, it’s about community and how you can find what you’re looking for in the most unexpected of places.
The Village of Lost and Found was published by Boldwood Books on 9th March 2021. Click to view on Amazon UK. Thank you to both author and publisher for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.