Series: Tindledale #2
Published by Harper on July 30th 2015
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Tindledale is in a titter. The Village Show competition is coming around again and after last year’s spectacular failure, the villagers are determined to win. Meg, teacher at the local school, is keen to help and to impose some much-needed order.
After a terse encounter with a newcomer to the village, Meg discovers that it is celebrity chef and culinary bad boy, Dan Wright. Meg thinks he is arrogant and rude but rumour has it that Dan is opening a new restaurant in the village which could really put Tindledale on the map!
As things come together, villagers old and new all start to come out of the woodwork, including new arrival Jessie, who seems to have it all. But first impressions can be deceptive and Meg discovers that when it comes to Tindledale – and Dan – nothing is ever quite as it seems…
This was an interesting read for me. I tried to read it when it first came out, but I couldn’t got the life of me get into it. I don’t know why, I think I just didn’t click with the book, really. But I spotted it in my library and picked it up, determined to give it another go in case it was just tiredness that stopped me reading before, and it must have been, because I quite enjoyed it this time around. Yes, I still had some issues – mainly the fact that the thirty-something Meg seemed very fuddy-duddy, very prim and proper, and a bit too old for how old she actually was, but I eventually warmed to her. It was actually Jessica’s story that kept me reading, because I was so intrigued by it, and I kind of wish there had been more made of it, as there’s only very sporadic chapters from that third-person point of view.
The Great Village Show is a sequel to Alex’s first Tindledale book The Great Christmas Knit-Off, but you could very easily read it as a stand-alone as it features brand new characters, and while Sybs does pop up, it’s not completely spoiler-y if you hadn’t read the first book. I actually like that in sequels because if you read the sequel so long after its prequel, you forget stuff, so to be introduced to new characters eases that a little bit I find.
Meg took a bit for me to warm to her, but I did. I loved her passion for her school, for her village, for the kids at her school. That really shone through the pages, and I was desperate for her to succeed in her mission, anyone with such a passion deserves a payoff, because people like Meg make the world go around, and without such passionate people, the world would be a duller place, with much less things to enjoy. Dan, on the other hand, baffled the living daylights out of me. He was written like a Katie Fforde hero – arrogant, rude, but with none of the charm, and I truly didn’t understand what his appeal was. More time needed to be spent explaining it. One minute, Meg can’t stand him, the next they’re fake-kissing in front of her mother, and it just didn’t make sense, because Meg didn’t like him! At all! Maybe he was a lovely fella, and he did try to explain himself, but it was too late for me. With a hero you need to be on board from the offset, and Dan just didn’t excite me in the slightest, sadly.
Overall, I quite enjoyed the book. As I said, it was Jessica’s story that kept me reading, and I’m slightly curious why she got shoe-horned into Meg’s book, instead of her own story because that could have been a pretty powerful novel (maybe that’s why – as Alex is more known for her lighter reads), but I would have read it. Meg was lovely, don’t get me wrong, and as I said, I loved that she had a cause and she was willing to go down fighting for her school, that’s some pretty amazing spirit right there, and that’s why I’m glad I kept reading, because I love to read about passionate characters, and the whole village of Tindledale really impress me actually because they’re all so passionate about their village. I’m curious who is next up in the upcoming The Secret of Orchard Cottage, I reckon the lovely Kitty deserves a book at some point, she’s certainly got a story to tell.