Dee is an author who has known huge success with her work but is now finding herself struggling to find a new story to tell. Her situation is made worse by the fact that she is no longer happy in her relationship with actor Ivor. Currently out of work, he is more than happy to let Dee support him while he galavants off to who knows where, doing who knows what and even landing her with a dog to take care of. Dee has been pushed to her limit and decides that it's time to move on, so she packs a bag and her new four-legged companion, Bob and hits the road. With no actual destination in mind, she finds herself in a small out of the way village near the sea, where she's fortunate enough to find a cottage to rent for the winter. Hopeful of finding the inspiration she so desperately seeks she sets out to explore the local area and very soon the elusive story comes to her but at what cost to the locals of Journey's End?
This is the first novel that I've read by this author and I was blown away by it. The dual timeline story was a clever blend of historical fiction and modern day literarture with a wonderful sprinkling of lyrical prose. The descriptions of the landscape were so vivid I could picture them clearly as well as smelling the salty sea air and struggling to see through the mist and rain. The more I read, the more it felt like the landscape was a character in its own right and very reminiscent of Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
The characters were so well drawn and developed that I felt like I knew them all personally and that I'd been welcomed into their tight knit community along with Dee. I came to care about them all and was especially happy for little Bob who was clearly living his best life running around in all the open space sniffing everything in sight!
The Cottage on Winter Moss is a superbly written novel which will appeal to a mulitude of readers but especially if you love family sagas, historical fiction, dual timeline and literary fiction. Don't be put off by the length of the book, it's over 500 pages, but it's not padded out with unnecessary text like other books I've read in the past. It's a truly spellbinding read and I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a novel which deserves to be savoured and my only regret is that I didn't read it slower! I don't know how Allie Creswell and her books have gone under my reading radar but I will definitely be seeking out her other books in the future.
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About the author
|Photo taken from authors website|
Allie Cresswell is the recipient of
two coveted One Stop Fiction Five Star Awards and three Readers' Favorite
Allie was born in Stockport, UK and
began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
Allie recalls: 'I was about 8 years
old. Our teacher asked us to write about a family occasion and I launched into
a detailed, harrowing and entirely fictional account of my grandfather's funeral.
I think he died very soon after I was born; certainly I have no memory of him
and definitely did not attend his funeral, but I got right into the details,
making them up as I went along (I decided he had been a Vicar, which I spelled
'Vice'). My teacher obviously considered this outpouring very good bereavement
therapy so she allowed me to continue with the story on several subsequent
days, and I got out of maths and PE on a few occasions before I was rumbled.'
She went on to do a BA in English
Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub
landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday
cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature
to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria.
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You can find out more about Allie, her books and connect with her using the links below:
With kind thanks to author Allie Cresswell for my review copy in exchange for an honest review.