Friday, May 23, 2014

A Winter's Tale - Trisha Ashley

This is the first book in a collection of stories revolving around characters living in the fictitious Lancashire village of Sticklepond. It is a warm-hearted tale of Sophy Winter who unexpectedly inherits her grandfather's rather stately home, Winter's End. There are a couple of love interest's for Sophy, a jealous distant cousin who feels aggrieved at not getting his hands on the estate, a surly, brooding gardener, as well as a hint or two of magic which is a theme throughout all three stories. Of course, with a title like A Winter's Tale there are many references to Shakespeare too.

Trisha Ashley has written three books based in Sticklepond and a couple of others based in neighbouring villages. Even though each story stands alone, I originally read the books out of sequence as I hadn't found any reference to these books belonging to a series. I do wish I had realised the chronology of the backlist before setting out to read them as there are many cross references to characters and events that appear in the earlier books. I did go back after reading this book and re-read the others. I found that reading them in sequence definitely added to the experience of getting to know the characters and enjoying the story. As a result, although I read this book last, it will appear first in review and the other books will be reviewed in chronological order within the next few weeks.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of Trisha Ashley's books and am hoping she continues with the series beyond the three she has written so far.

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