Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas
Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas.
Many thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours and the publisher for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.
Wrap up warm and explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.
Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas.
Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds? Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover. But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met. City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor. But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought. There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …
Last year I fell in love with the writing of Jo Thomas when I read and reviewed A Winter Beneath The Stars. When I heard that Coming Home To Winter Island was available, I literally couldn’t wait to read it.
Singer Ruby has lost her voice and hopes to spend Christmas on a retreat in Tenerife to help her recover. However, just before she is about to leave she gets a strange call from a solicitor telling her to travel to a remote Scottish island immediately. Her grandfather, Hector whom she has never met, is suffering from dementia and needs professional care. Ruby drops her plans and travels to Scotland, thinking that it will be a quick visit with arrangements wrapped up quickly.
As next of kin she must sign papers to enable the elderly gentleman to get the essential care he needs. However, first, his large run-down house overlooking the sea must be sold. The problem is that the house cannot be put on the market until sitting tenant Lachlan vacates…and he is refusing to go anywhere!
At first Ruby and Lachlan butt heads just like the feuding stags on the island. Both are stubborn and unwilling to see each others point of view. Gradually they both realise that they both want the same thing and that is to help Hector, the old gentleman.
Lachlan explains that he has made a promise to Hector and cannot leave until he fulfills it. In order to do this he must find an old family gin recipe and restart the family distillery to inject life back into the island.
I loved the location for the book with it’s harsh weather conditions, untouched beauty and bounty of fresh food, which was foraged by Lachlan to create mouthwatering dishes. The author describes the crisp, clean air and the salty sea breeze so well that you can almost feel the fresh wind on your face.
The characters just steadily grow on you until you just love them, especially the charming old chap who’s mind so sadly played tricks on him. I could just picture him in his well worn dressing gown with his two loyal dogs who never left his side.
The story shows how we can recollect precious details when introduced to familiar music. Ruby goes on an amazing journey, helped by the irresistible Lachlan (who I just need in my life!). The mystery of the missing gin recipe had me completely hooked and I loved how it’s organic ingredients were slowly revealed.
This book can be read at any time of the year as Christmas is not featured heavily. The writing is just sublime, so well researched and the perfect ‘escape’ read.
One of my favourite cosy, uplifting reads this year, highly, highly recommended.
Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.