Book Review: The Winter That Made Us by Kate Field

winter that made usWhen Tess finds herself unexpectedly alone and back in Ribblemill, the childhood village she thought she’d escaped, she’s sure she can survive a temporary stay. She’s spent a lifetime making the best of things, hasn’t she?

Determined to throw herself into village life, Tess starts a choir and gathers a team of volunteers to restore the walled garden at Ramblings, the local stately home. Everything could be perfect, if she weren’t sharing a cottage and a cat with a man whose manner is more prickly than the nettles she’s removing…

As winter approaches, Tess finds herself putting down her own roots as fast as she’s pulling them up in the garden. But the ghosts of the past hover close by, and Tess must face them if she’s to discover whether home is where her heart has been all along.


The Winter That Made Us is told from the point of view of Tess. She has returned to Ribblemill; the village she grew in for the first time in years. It’s the place she couldn’t wait to leave.

She tries to make the most of the situation by throwing herself into village life. She starts a choir as well as gathering a team to restore the walled gardens at the nearby stately home.

Rather than stay with her parents (her relationship with her mother is a little strained,) Tess takes the offer to rent a cottage. She ends up sharing the cottage with Noah, a man who makes it clear he wants to be left alone. They are also soon joined by a kitten named Morag.

As winter approaches, things from both Tess and Noah’s pasts catch up with them to the point where they can’t be avoided. Can she and Noah find themselves again?

The Winter That Made Us is one of those books that as soon as I started, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stop reading. It’s very addictive. Even when I was tired enough to keep dropping my kindle, I forced myself to stay awake to read just a little bit more.

The Winter That Made Us Full Tour BannerI immediately fell in love with Ribblemill and its inhabitants. I had the same warm fuzzy feeling reading this that I do when i read Trisha Ashley’s books. The feeling where all you want to do is sit somewhere comfy and warm with only the book for company.

Saying that though, when you read this, have some tissues handy. I was in absolute floods of tears at a couple of events presented in this novel. Yes Kate, this story of yours full on made me sob.

Tess… oh Tess. I felt a real connection with her. She has many anxieties about her past and her life. The subject of she and Noah’s mental health was handled so well (and for someone who suffers from anxiety, it was comforting to see it portrayed as a serious subject and done so in as sensitive a way possible.)

Tess has a lot on her shoulders and bares a lot of blame for things in her life. It’s soon clear that she and Noah are similar despite different life experiences. These two characters complimented each other very well.

The supporting characters are all fantastic and I don’t think there was one I didn’t like. Even Grace, Tess’s mother, has many layers to her and all of the people were developed well.

I felt like I really got to know these characters. I want to move to Ribblemill. The description made it seem like I was there for a while.

The plot moves at such a great pace and the writing style flows really well. I don’t want to say much else about the plot as I don’t want to ruin any of this fantastic book.

As you can tell, I loved it. As the darker nights draw in, Tess and Noah’s story is a perfect way to escape for a while.

Christmas, romance and a beautiful cover. The winter that made us is one of my favourite books of 2018.


katefieldauthorphotoAbout Kate: 

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire,

where she lives with her husband, daughter and hyperactive cat.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2017.

Say hi to Kate on Twitter: @katehaswords, and Facebook

The Winter That Made Us was released in September 2018 by Accent Press. Click to view on Amazon:


The Winter That Made Us



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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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