The Cornish Village School – Summer Love by Kitty Wilson – A Cornish story of a school romance

The Cornish Village School - Summer Love | Canelo

 

A book of an idyllic Cornish village and school, with a romantic story at its heart, this is a novel which hits many targets for a relaxing and entertaining read. Although the third in the series, this book works well as a stand alone novel, as each book is built around different main characters. There are characters who are mentioned in every book, but it is certainly not essential to know their stories. In this book, Pippa is a teaching assistant in the first class, and much is made of her extravagant personality and her singular dress sense. She meets Kam, who is hoping to establish a teaching career in Cornwall, and who soon becomes more than just a colleague. Both of them have families who are keen that they should settle down; indeed Pippa’s mother Jan has a prime candidate in mind for her daughter, James, who is capable of showing two faces. Kam’s family from Middlesbrough are also keen to see him with a wife, preferably nearer than Cornwall. Both Pippa and Kam have significant friends who despite their idiosyncrasies want the best for them, and will make suggestions. The central focus of this book is answering the question: can Pippa and Kam ever be together when so much seems against them.

 

The book opens with Piipa, in half of her Easter bunny costume, meeting a young man who has apparently just been interviewed for a part time temporary job at Penmenna school. It seems that Kam is attractive and has a sense of humour that matches her own, but there is no guarantee that they will ever see each other again. Meanwhile, Pippa must cope with the terrifying Marion Marksharp, chair of the PTA who tries to rule teaching staff and parents alike. Then her friend Lottie, who wants to be a taxidermist, is on hand with friendly advice. Her family reintroduce the son of a family friend, James, who seems an ideal potential match. However, it soon becomes obvious that he is concealing a terrible ego. Kam, meanwhile, is soon totally smitten by Pippa, but  aware that his five year plan does not allow for diversions into romance. Can any relationship survive such pressures?

 

This is a book of real humour and realistic dialogue. The characters are memorable and well written in every detail. The obsessive mother who cooks compulsively, the children who panic about the school hamster, Sir Squeaks-a-lot, the community pub and the local festivals, all have the ring of truth. The area is so well described as being full of beauty, beyond that which is seen by tourists. Pippa is a well drawn character, with her sense of humour and interest in vintage clothing. The plot is not explosive, but well paced and worked out, even with its obvious hiccup. The dialogue is realistic and funny, reflecting the characters well. This is a terrifically entertaining book with plenty of telling details and contemporary interest. I recommend it as a lighthearted read to fans of contemporary fiction. 

 

This is a good escapist read with positive messages. Its humour is clever and understated and clever, written with a real ear for how families talk to each other. I believe that their are two more books in this series, but they are only available as ebooks, which I do not read. I do hope that the publishers can be persuaded to bring them out in print, please! Despite the issues of storage and organisation, I do love real books. I like being able to handle them and see how I am progressing, as well as the whole collecting of series, publishers, authors works etc. For discovering all the various works by a particular writer, I use  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/ to look writers up quickly, as well as the exact order in which their books should be read. It can, of course, also swallow many hours in checking up on authors as one list suggests another…

   

 

  

The Cornish Village School – Second Chances by Kitty Wilson – Romance and humour in a village

The Cornish Village School - Second Chances (Cornish Village School series Book 2) by [Kitty Wilson]

Sylvie Williams is the second woman in the Cornish village of Penmenna who discovers the possibility of romance in the beautiful setting. In this series of light and entertaining books around a small village school, some misunderstandings can slow things down, but the wonderful characters are funny and entertaining even though there are some interesting situations going on behind the story. Not that this book needs any former knowledge of the series; it would work well as a standalone book with mainly attractive characters. Marion, genuinely terrifying and impressive, effective head of the school governors as well as PTA leader is on form in this book. In fact one of the characters describes her as being more frightening than those he has encountered in his professional career – as a tv war correspondent. When Alex arrives in the village he has a past, and a small, lively and precocious daughter Ellie who has changed his life, but what he finds on a visit may change his life even more.

 

The book opens with a young woman and her small son arriving at the beach which is nearest to Penmenna. Sylvie Williams and Sam have been living with her Uncle Tom on the family farm where she nursed her late mother. She is feeling that she must move out, but needs to support her son as he starts at the village school. When they arrive at their favourite spot they find Alex and his daughter Ellie there, and the children strike up an instant and strong friendship. While Sylvie finds Alex very attractive, she believes him to be a temporary visitor, and does not realise he is a well known tv journalist. Alex knows some people in the village from University and school days and is staying with the wealthy Chase. The group of friends, including Rosy, headteacher of the school, persuade him to stay in the village as it will give Ellie some stability. When Alex brings Ellie to school and Sylvie discovers that he is to be a permanent resident, she realises that being attracted to Alex can only be a distraction to her need to leave the farm and find paid work in the village. Meanwhile Alex has huge plans to create a charity to assist the children of South Sudan that are the victims of war and other challenges. Unfortunately Marian also has plans for Alex, and they definitely do not involve Sylvie.

 

This is an enjoyable book which is an easy read on its own, though it makes reference to some characters who featured in the earlier book. The setting is lovely, including the small school, the teachers and children, and a small community who are generally welcoming. It is in many ways a contemporary romance and a gentle read, though there are also many points of attitudes that could be challenged. It is a funny book, with some points of panic. Sylvie has to face some challenges as she has moved on from her dedication to a career, and knows that she must find a new home in a village which is an expensive holiday destination. This is a light read which makes a pleasing alternative to heavier works, and I recommend it on that basis.

 

This is the second book I have reviewed in this series, and it is a very different read from yesterday’s Sexton Blake! I always have various books to choose from so a variety of reviews are bound to result. This book was a light read and very entertaining, a good distraction with a ‘safe’ storyline. The characters are really memorable, including the marvellous Marion…

The Cornish Village School – Breaking the Rules by Kitty Wilson – a romantic comedy

The Cornish Village School - Breaking the Rules (Cornish Village ...

 

This book in a series of novels about a small village school set in a beautiful Cornish village has a certain charm and a lot of humour. Rosy Winter is the head of the school, but it is her life which happens outside school hours that is the focus of much of the action. The school is portrayed here as small enough that every child is known and valued as an individual, but like every small establishment of its type there is more than an implied threat. When Rosy gets a new next door neighbour she realises that her compartmentalised life is threatened; her self imposed rule of not letting a relationship get too serious, especially with someone in the village looks to be at risk. Is Matthew too good to be true after all? This romantic comedy never gets too serious despite Rosy’s problems, and the setting is glorious. There are some wonderful characters in this well written book which stands alone in a series featuring the Cornish Village School in Penmenna. 

 

Much of the humour from this book comes from Rosy’s discovery that her new neighbour, Matthew, is a very attractive man. After an initial misunderstanding Rosy discovers that Matthew has female company in the form of the perfect Angelina, and that she is resigned to maintaining her Rule of not dating anyone in the village or even Cornwall. Not that she is having much success with online dating, but resolves to treat Matthew as a friendly neighbour and begins to introduce him to the local community. She encounters the loathsome Edward Grant, who announces that Penmenna school is on his list to be amalgamated with others, meaning that the “Outstanding” school is due to be closed, and all the pupils bussed a great distance. Rosy realises that she has limited time to be worrying about her romantic life as she must get help to run the #SaveOurSchool campaign. As the formidable Marion is enlisted to raise awareness of the fight, Rosy gets dragged into the social life of the county. Meanwhile Matthew discovers that his relationship with Angelina is hard work and very demanding. He is also keen to set to work on his project for television, restoring and redesigning the gardens of a local big house. When he gets inspiration of how he can help the school’s campaign, he wants to improve his chances with Rosy, but he discovers that there are far more barriers than he imagined.

 

This is a light comedy in many ways, though Rosy has issues which are darker than her usual good temper would suggest. Rosy’s emotions are well described, especially her panics about her relationship with Matt.  Clothes, setting and humour are well realised, and I enjoyed this read immensely. There are some very good set pieces, including a date which Rosy endures, Matthew’s attitude to Angelina and his coping strategies, and Marion the rather frightening PTA chair in organisational mode. This is a vastly entertaining light comedy with a good range of characters, imaginative descriptions and romantic ideas.   

 

This is a book which well fulfils the need for a cheerful book in these strange times. There are at actually five books in this series, of which this is the first, and I have the next two ready to read. It is a book which is very different from some of the others which I am reviewing at the moment, but I think that makes it all the more interesting!