The blurb: “Just think, Alice, right now Owen could be putting a hex on you!” When Alice Hart’s husband runs off with his secretary, she runs off with his dog to lick her wounds in a North Yorkshire village. Battling with loneliness but trying to make the best of her new start, she soon meets her neighbours, including the drop-dead gorgeous builder Richard Wainwright and the kindly yet reticent cafe owner, Owen Maltby.
As Alice employs Richard to start renovating the barn next to her house, all is not what it seems. Why does she start seeing Owen when he clearly isn’t there? Where – or when – does the strange crying come from? And if Owen is the village charmer, what exactly does that mean? The Cheesemaker’s House is a gripping read, inspired by a framed will found in the dining room of the author’s dream Yorkshire house.
My review: Strangely this was the third book I’d read in a row where the main characters name was Alice or Alicia! A new trend?
This was a bit of a mixed bag. Slow to start, I just couldn’t warm to the characters. It became clear that Jane was lining Owen up to be the romantic interest but it was so hard to care about him. He seemed the antithesis of anyone you would want to date. Especially after a painful divorce!
As the book progressed further and more of the house’s history was revealed so was the book’s charm. The legends behind The Cheesemaker’s House, the previous history and the troubled relationships of its occupants was the most riveting part of the book. I would have happily read more about this clever idea.
But sadly the current day characters kept coming back and failed to excite. Their relationships felt clunky and forced, lacking the subtly of reality or the mysteries of fiction. There were a few exceptions. Not a bad book overall but not one I’m going to pass on.
6 out of 10 Stars ******
BUY ME! The Cheesemaker’s House