Book Review: Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley

Book Review: Wickham Hall by Cathy BramleyWickham Hall by Cathy Bramley
Published by Random House on January 14th 2016
Rating: five-stars
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Romance, General, Contemporary
Pages: 512
Find on Goodreads
Also by this author: White Lies and Wishes
Synopsis:

Bestseller Wickham Hall was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.
Holly Swift has just landed the job of her dreams: events co-ordinator at Wickham Hall, the beautiful manor home that sits proudly at the heart of the village where she grew up. Not only does she get to organise for a living and work in stunning surroundings, but it will also put a bit of distance between Holly and her problems at home.
As Holly falls in love with the busy world of Wickham Hall - from family weddings to summer festivals, firework displays and Christmas grottos - she also finds a place in her heart for her friendly (if unusual) colleagues.
But life isn’t as easily organised as an event at Wickham Hall (and even those have their complications...). Can Holly learn to let go and live in the moment? After all, that’s when the magic happens...
A charming and romantic story certain to make you smile - perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Trisha Ashley and Katie Fforde.
Your favourite authors have loved reading Cathy Bramley:‘Engaging characters, a stately home and a sweeping romance. This is delightful!’ Katie Fforde‘Delightfully warm with plenty of twists and turns’ Trisha Ashley'A witty, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy' Miranda Dickinson

Wickham Hall is Cathy Bramley’s fourth novel, and her most recent, and I’ve been dying to read it for ages. I really enjoyed her previous books Ivy Lane and Conditional Love, and I still have the delightful Appleby Farm to visit, and her new book The Plumberry School of Comfort Food to dig into once it’s released throughout the year. Wickham Hall is by far my favourite of Cathy’s books so far, it just had everything I love in a book, without the usual annoyances that come with a Chick Lit novel (namely the heroine and hero having some massive falling out before declaring their love on the last page). Where Benedict and Holly were concerned, it just flowed naturally, and it’s almost as if their relationship happened by accident, it was that amazing. The kind that just makes you sigh and wish for your own Benedict.

Stately homes are also my FAVOURITE settings for books. I dream of living in a stately home, and Wickham Hall sounded utterly amazing. I could literally imagine it in my head, helped along by the gorgeous house on the front cover of the book. I could see why Holly wanted to work there, it sounded like the most amazing place to work, and I SO want to become an event planner, it seems like so much fun (and quite a bit of hassle). You could also really feel the warmth radiating from all the staff members, they genuinely wanted to work at Wickham Hall and that’s quite amazing, really.

The characters were fantastic, Holly was the narrator and I loved her. Her enthusiasm for Wickham Hall, the way she wanted to help her poor mum out, how she threw herself into her job at Wickham Hall, despite the fact the lass she was supposed to work with ending up having to leave like immediately, and I loved that she was so organised. I like things organised myself, but Holly took it to another level and I loved it. She was so much fun, and Benedict added another level of fun, too. I loved how silly he was, how he wasn’t up himself as you might expect someone named Benedict to be (sorry to anyone named Benedict out there), and I loved that he was a painter. I genuinely wanted to buy one of his paintings of sunsets because they sounded magical. Lord and Lady Fortescue were also pretty awesome, Hugh in particular, whereas Lady Fortescue had her moments, and was a bit of a snob.

Wickham Hall really was a delightful read. I loved every bit of it and devoured it in just a couple of days. It’s 500 pages, but never once does it feel like it’s dragging, and the storyline just moves at quite a decent pace. I’m glad I read the book all in one go, though, because reading it in its four parts would have driven me absolutely insane, what with those cliff-hangers and truths being told! I can’t wait to read Appleby Farm, now, Cathy really is one of the most fantastic storytellers around.

five-stars
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