Thursday, 1 November 2018

Blog Tour || The Cornish Village School - Second Chances by Kitty Wilson - Book Review.

I'm very pleased to be reviewing The Cornish Village School - Second Chances by Kitty Wilson today, as part of its blog tour. If you're after a new read, check out what I thought of it - it might be the perfect novel for you.


Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the nearest town, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.

Television Journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he's swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots. 

Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?

The second book in the feel-good and rib-tickling Cornish Village School series. Perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant, Holly Martin and Cathy Bramley.

About The Author

Kitty Wilson lived in Cornwall for twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom - and that her own children aren't as hideous. Recently she has moved to Bristol, but only for love and on the understanding that she and her partner will be returning to Cornwall to live very soon. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard, dreaming of the beach or bombing back down the motorway for a quick visit! She has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

My Review

I just want to start by saying how much I love the cover art for this book, and its prequel, Breaking the Rules. They are visually very beautiful and they seem to match the tone of the series very well.

The Cornish Village School - Second Chances was first and foremost a pleasure to read. Set in the small village of Penmenna, the book follows the stories of Sylvie, a single mum and ex-ballerina who is bringing up her young son Sam, and Alex, a tv journalist who has adopted Ellie, a child he met in tragic circumstances on one of his assignments. When the four meet on the beach, there is instant chemistry - and not just between newly BFF children. As a bond is formed between all four, Sylvie and Alex are forced to confront their growing feelings for each other. Can they remain platonic for the sake of their unconventional family unit?

I didn't realise that this was the second installment in the series when I began it, but I am already looking forward to going back and catching up. Kitty Wilson's writing is warm and engaging, and this was a soul-soother of a book: it was a gentle, funny and light-hearted read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The book is full of characters with bags of personality - from the tenacious Marion Marksharp, a local mother with her nose firmly in everyone's business, to Rosy, the compassionate headteacher of Penmenna Village school, all the characters really added something to the spirit of the village and made it feel like a recognisable and real place. I could really picture these people working and living in close proximity, and it was like I was one of their neighbours too. 

Saying that, my favourite character was probably Ellie, the young girl that Alex adopted from Sudan after she lost her family in the civil war. She was full of energy and life, and she made me laugh numerous times. I also loved the effect she had on Sam, and watching his confidence grow because of her influence was really lovely.

Sometimes this kind of plot can come across as overly sentimental and somewhat sickly, but the humour throughout Second Chances balances it out perfectly. Instead, I found myself really rooting for this little family, and was glad when elements of Sylvie's life started to fall into place for her. 

I also really loved the setting of this. I've never been to Cornwall but it looks stunning, and the vivid opening description of the beautiful beaches had me transported instantly to the coastline. After this, a visit to Cornwall is most definitely on my list! 

This book is all about friendship, and family - not just the family we are born into, but that we choose ourselves. The community feeling to the entire novel is heart-warming and endearing, and it was a book that left me feeling uplifted and positive. I can't wait to go back and read Breaking the Rules now!

Be sure to check out the other blogs hosting The Cornish Village School - Second Chances on this tour!

Huge thank you to Ellie at Canelo Publishing for providing me with this copy.

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