Romona lives with her grandmother, Tilly Donnelly, in a cottage on the South Downs. Tilly has brought her up from a baby and in spite of the generation gap, the pair are very close. Then Tilly collapses in the local shop and is taken to hospital. She can remember nothing of what has happened, nor of her recent past, which leaves Romona to cope as best as she can.
Unwilling to confide in anyone, in case she is taken into care, Romona must find a way of staying at Number One The Pastures, until her grandmother is fit enough to come home.
“A Welcome at Cloud Cottage” is the first Charnley Acre book that I have read and it is a total delight.
Romona and Tilly are vividly depicted characters and I feel a real sympathy for them both. I love Romona’s courage and determination and her slightly old fashioned view of life. The author gives a convincing picture of a twelve year old struggling with the day to day problems of living on her own in a remote cottage and at the same time trying to find out what has happened to her grandmother.
The other characters are well drawn too, in particular, Kinsey, Romona’s friend and her large noisy family who are a direct contrast to Romona’s isolated life with her grandmother.
And there is Emily, a journalist, who takes an interest in Romona and welcomes the quirky intelligent girl into Cloud Cottage, giving her a place to do her homework, a refuge from the crowded home, Romona has invented as a cover story.
When the truth emerges about Tilly Emily willingly takes on a greater role in Romona’s life. But Emily too has problems. Can she trust her boyfriend Ethan and why is he so set against Romona?
Although the novel deals with loss, ageing and coming to terms with a painful and life changing reality, the writer does it all with a light touch, so that “A Welcome at Cloud Cottage” is an warming and uplifting read.
I can thoroughly recommend the novel and look forward to reading more about Charnley Acres.
Zara Thorne is the pen name of Deirdre Palmer:
Deirdre lives in Brighton, on the south coast. She has written four full-length novels under her own name, all originally published by Crooked Cat Books, and four shorter women’s fiction novels as Zara Thorne through Fabrian Books, a self-publishing collective. She has also published a book of short stories, most of which were previously published in The People’s Friend magazine. Deirdre is a member of the ten-strong writers’ group, The Write Romantics, and is a full member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – although she doesn’t confine herself to writing romance. Much of her inspiration for the Zara Thorne books is drawn from the countryside and villages around her home count of Sussex. ‘A Welcome at Cloud Cottage’ is the third book in the Charnley Acre series, although the story stands equally well alone.
The novel is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=A+Welcome+at+Cloud+Cottage