Celebrations & Surprises In Burracombe sounds like a lovely way to enjoy a dreary September day. It feels like its been a little while since I wrote a book review. If you’re new here, you might not but I’ve been reviewing the Burracombe village book series. Written by Lillian Harry, there are fourteen books in total in the series. I’ve been splitting them down into two book reviews a post so that they aren’t too long. If you have missed any of the Burracombe book reviews so far, you can catch up here:
The next two books are Celebrations In Burracombe and Surprises In Burracombe, so lets get started with the reviews…
Celebrations In Burracombe
In Burracombe, 1954 has already been an eventful year as weddings brought happy days and promised joyful futures. But life never runs smoothly for long in the little Devonshire village and soon friends and neighbours alike must all face up to secrets, confessions and surprises.
There’s an air of expectation in the village as the news emerges of babies due in the coming months. But it seems not everyone is destined for a happy family life. For the expectant mothers, joy is mingled with concern – and it seems as many families will be torn apart as brought together by the promise of new arrivals.
Hilary Napier, at the Barton overlooking the village, can’t look at the newly-weds and growing families without wondering if fate has only taunted her with a second chance at love and then snatched it away again. While for her friend, Val Ferris, hard-won happiness hangs in the balance as she faces a choice between home and hearth, or her husband’s hopes and dreams.
But as everyone faces uncertainty, there is one thing they can rely on. Villagers young and old, Devon born-and-bread or new settles, they will stand together to face the hard times and the good. Let Celebrations in Burracombe sweep you up and take you on a journey to the village that feels like home.
When I picked up this book to read, I’d actually had a little break from reading the Burracombe series. It meant that whilst I remembered key information from the previous books, I had a refreshed and opened mind. It meant that I just couldn’t wait to get started and go back in time to village life.
I’m always read the blurb before I begin a new book. I do it just so I can get a feel for how the book might pan out. Reading this blurb made me wonder if character Hilary would ever find happiness. At least, the kind of happiness you get from sharing your life with somebody special. The blurb also made me feel like this book could be a turning point. Where villagers leave and new arrive which I’m worried might change the dynamic of the books. I’ve invested so much time into reading about the existing characters, I feel like I know them like friends. I’m not sure that I would be very accepting of new characters but we shall see how it pans out.
Celebrations In Burracombe begins its story almost exactly where Weddings In Burracombe ended
Character Patsy is still pregnant and village life continues much the same. Having said that, there are the odd few petty arguments thrown in. They had me laughing at how trivial they were.
One thing I’ve noticed in this series is that there is an event held every year. Whether its a variety show, flower show or something else. There is a slow but consistent build up to the event. This book is no exception where you get to see the build up for a show for a good cause.
There’s an opening for Hilary which, if she can make it work, will give her the happiness she deserves. However, she has to take her time with it. As much as a reader wants her to be spontaneous, you know that during that era, it just wasn’t possible.
Several families are in turmoil throughout the book which makes the celebrations of new life a complete contrast. By the end of the book, the characters all have the happiness they deserve in my opinion. Having said that, some of them don’t realise it yet.
It sets it up very nicely for the next book and I can’t wait to start reading it. The running theme of new life and wedding bells is sure to continue as it always does with village life. The Shillabee family has had so many changes in this book. I’d like to think that in the next book, their lives are explored more. I feel like I know the other families so much more than the Shillabee family.
Surprises In Burracombe
With surprises around every corner, life is never dull in this beautiful Devonshire village…
Hilary has had enough of secrets. Her engagement party is a chance for her and David to finally celebrate. But it seems there may be more than the dress and venue to arrange before she can walk down the aisle.
Frances and James are doing their best to ignore their feelings for each other. But can Frances find a way to let herself love again?
Amid all the drama, old friends are always on hand, and when Dottie falls ill, a familiar face returns to lift her spirits and perhaps change her life…
I started reading this book straight away. I’m one of those people that says they like surprises. However, this is just so that they can look for clues to work out what the surprises are. Is anyone else like that or is it just me? Added to this, Celebrations In Burracombe had so much happen in it that could set up for Surprises In Burracombe.
Whilst the previous book was quite fast paced, I found this one to be a lot slower to start with. Having said that, from the middle to the end, it really sped up. I felt like so much happened in such a small time frame. The amount of things Lillian Harry was able to pack into the second half of this book is amazing. If I told you all of them, you almost wouldn’t believe it. However, it was all told in such a way that it really flowed and work well within the story.
No Matter what, life goes on. Everybody has their own individual story and path they are on.
This book really proved the above to me. One thing I was fascinated with in this book was that it really explored character Ivy’s story. She was a character I have never been able to gel with. In Fact I always felt like I was always skimming over the bits where she was mentioned. However, we got to explore what she has been through in the past to make her the way she is. I found myself warming to her a lot more by the end of the book.
Not only did my opinion on Ivy change, other big changes happened at the end of the book. With new life and new beginnings, I’m certain there will be more weddings in the following books. Near the end of this book, one of the characters suddenly has an accident. I’m intrigued to see how disability in the 1950s is played out in the next book. I can’t only imagine that it will be completely different to how we view people with disabilities today.
There are always key events to look forward to in this series. There are also a lot of twists and turns in all of the books so far. If you are looking for something with a touch of nostalgia, this is the book for you. I used to be fascinated by stories my nan told me of her younger days. This series really captures that and creates such a heart-warming feel to each book. Its such a lovely feel good set of books that are just a joy to read.