I’m back today with the next instalment of my Burracombe book series review. As with last time, I’ll be focusing on the next two books in the series. These are Storm Over Burracombe, followed by Springtime In Burracombe. If you missed the last review post, you can read it here.
Storm Over Burracombe
There’s trouble afoot in the Devonshire village of Burracombe…
Hilary Napier is upset and angry when her father brings in a new manager for the family estate, which she has been running for the past year. Even though she can’t help liking Travis Kellaway, she still resents his presence. Then one night, when she’s struggling to cope with an illness on the estate, Hilary begins to appreciate Travis’s strength and compassion, and finds herself drawn to him.
Meanwhile, life in the village is enlivened by the new drama club, formed by energetic young curate Felix Copley. Almost the entire village becomes involved in the pantomime he decides to organise – with results they didn’t quite plan for!
Then tragedy strikes, making everyone realise exactly what is important in their lives…
The fact that I’m still early on in the series has left me intrigued how each book will follow on. There is so many books to get through, I’m hoping that they don’t loose their momentum part way through.
I found this book showed a lot more of village life. You could really see that back then, when people didn’t travel as much, villagers would become suspicious of any strangers. That’s something that I don’t feel really happens anymore in Britain, because most households travel more these days.
As with the books so far, there is a mention of death. This is so important for a multi-generation village. I really felt that the character involved had finally found peace and that surprised me with how relieved I felt.
A new theme arises in this book and that is rivalry. Without giving too much away, you can tell that its a attraction and lusting type of rivalry. It unfolds slowly throughout the story and gives you a sense of what could happen in the next book. Its a very clever way of linking to the following book.
So far, throughout the books, I found similarities to my life. Its given me a level of connection I don’t normally get with books. A big theme within this story is premature babies. Babies arriving too early in the world is always going to cause panic. It breaks my heart to think of a world without the knowledge and science we have today. It really makes me appreciate our amazing NHS even more.
My nan and her twin sister were born early and very small. Their parents were told they probably wouldn’t make the night. In fact, you could fit them both inside a kitchen jug, they were that small. Thankfully, both of them proved doctors wrong and survived, going on to have long lives. Its something I sincerely hope will be the same outcome in this series.
One more thing that is really apparent in Storm Over Burracombe is the theme of time. Of how everything takes time. Especially when it comes to getting over a sad event and establishing what you really want. This book is really great for exploring the thought processes of somebody growing up and start afresh. Its also a time to reflect on what might have been.
Springtime In Burracombe
The Devonshire village of Burracombe is looking forward to the Coronation, but 1953 is to prove a year of heartbreak as well as celebration. While Stella plans her wedding, her sister Maddy is only just coming to terms with the loss of her own fiance; Val and Luke are wondering if they will ever become parents, and Hilary’s chances of marriage seem first to come closer, then to recede.
The Tozer family also face anxiety, as grandmother Minnie fights for her life, Tom and Joanna’s premature twins battle with their own crisis and Jackie, working and living in Plymouth, is determined to live her own life.
Meanwhile, the life of the village goes on – and as the villagers get Burracombe looking its best for the festivities, romance is on the horizon…
From reading the blurb, I knew instantly that this book was going to be a lot more eventful that the others. Over the last three books, I’ve really got to know the characters and I definitely have a few favourites. It breaks my heart that anything bad could happen to any of them.
Its been such a long time since a book reduced me to tears. However there is one harrowing part in the story that had me sobbing. Lillian describes events in such a way that I really felt I was in the room with the characters. It was like I was going through the emotions too.
Throughout this book, as with the previous ones in the series, there’s the feeling that everyone’s lives are intertwined in some way. It gives such a lovely village life edge to the whole book. When times got tough, everybody pulled together and helped one another. Reading this during the pandemic, I could really relate to this and find it heart warming.
I wasn’t sure how this book would play out. Right from the beginning, there were so many emotions running high. As with any life, it does comes to an end. Sometimes it happens more suddenly than ever and that was definitely the case with this book.
I think Lillian did such a great job of showing grief from more than one perspective. She really went to prove just how differently everyone copes with grief through her writing. It also reminded me that without talking about how you are feeling, anger and resentment can build. It was very much up and down in terms of emotions throughout the story but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. After reading the last chapter, which sets up for the next book in the series so well, I’m going to start on it straight away.