Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake Somerville suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn’t quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.
Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined – it’s cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.
But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?
Last year I read Heidi’s debut novel and really enjoyed it, so naturally couldn’t wait for her new one, and clearly for good reason as it was hard not to fall in love with both this book and Skylark itself.
From the rural farm setting to the wonderful characters, this book was one that was incredibly charming and inviting. At times you could see what was to come, but what with it being a book, I was powerless to stop it, despite inside my mind shouting “NOOOOOOO!!!!!”. The book made you really care for Amber, so of course you want her to triumph over evil, or in less dramatic terms, you wish they would have a great life with no struggles, because we all want that in life, though obviously that would make for a boring story.
The setting of Skylark is very quaint and an idyllic setting for those who dream of a rural country life and also hose who love a project. You can tell Heidi loves the country lifestyle, as her passion shines through.
Amber, our lead character obviously makes a very drastic change to her life. From city cosmopolitan to country shabby chic, no amount of reading country-life magazine can prepare for such a change and while Amber makes a couple of tiny mistakes, she clearly tries her hardest and is actually pretty successful straight off the bat. She feels insecure which is completely understandable but she copes well and thankfully has Annie, Jake and friends to support her. She fit into Jakes friends and family really well, it was great to see all the locals be so welcoming towards her, and while they were a great community, Amber did seem to be one of those people that everyone likes.
Jake is adorable. well most of the time, there are a couple of moments where he shows a side Amber notes that she doesn’t like, and I don’t feel that during the conflict of the book tit was ever fully addressed. It’s not a big deal, everyone has their faults and thank heavens Jakes is only that he acts a bit stubborn and bratty at times (and it is incredibly infrequent), but I had hoped Amber would have stood up a tiny bit for herself. Other than this minor thing, Jake was fantastic, really friendly, clearly cared for both his aunt and Skylark.
Annie was absolutely fantastic. Brilliant, feisty but kind hearted, you can see why Amber warmed to her instantly. This book felt very community and family feel to it. Only I have a question on my lips about both Jakes and Ambers parents. While not really needed for the plot, I was surprised there was very little mention of them, especially Ambers parents and her big decision and changes she made to her life.This isn’t really a big deal, I’m just secretly hoping it just means there is a direct sequel or novella in the works to expand on this world Heidi is creating with Skylark farm.
Overall this book is so cute, with the chickens, Pip the pony for some cute animal delights, with some cheery friends to welcome both Amber and you to rural life. The perfect book for an afternoon in the park with a picnic. It is funny, heart-warming and the book you won’t want to put down, well maybe for a second so you can have a sip of some delicious white wine on the aforementioned picnic!
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review