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12 May 2021

Book Review: Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland *AD gifted

I was provided with access to a free copy of Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland ahead of the blog tour.

I have read the previous books in the series because I am a massive lover of hedgehogs, and I was very excited to see where it went next. And honestly? It was unexpected in the best of ways. Although I was provided with a free review copy, I already had the kindle edition pre-ordered.

Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland book cover

Every family has its secrets, and at Hedgehog Hollow there is no exception...

It was always Samantha's dream to run her beautiful rescue centre, Hedgehog Hollow, full-time. But just as her wish comes true, she becomes a victim of her own kindness when she finds herself with a house full of guests - all with their own problems and secrets - looking to her for support.

When her self-absorbed cousin, Chloe, unexpectedly turns up at the farm - swiftly handing over her baby to Samantha to care for – trouble is definitely brewing. Especially as Chloe won’t tell anyone why she’s left her husband, James...

As Samantha juggles new hedgehog arrivals, family dramas and her own health challenges, it soon becomes clear that she needs to start putting herself first for once. Little does she know that life-changing secrets from the past are about to unravel and turn their lives upside down...

Return to glorious Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a heartwarming, emotional but uplifting story of family, friendship and moving on from the past.


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Source: Review Copy | Blog Tour | Purchase

5 Word Review: Family, secrets, regrets, love, hedgehogs.



Oh Hedgehog Hollow, how I've grown to love you. The first book in the series was a five star read for me, and it's only got better. So err... Read it. Get it and read it. Get the whole series and prepare to lose your heart to a hedgehog sanctuary, Hedgehog Hollow is a place you will want to visit again and again.

The first book focuses on Samantha, the second book adds Josh, and in the third book we have Chloe joining the narrating characters. I thought that the addition of a narrator with each book was very clever and it rounded out the characters so well. Each has their own distinct voice and it adds another slant to every event. The emotions are heightened, the reader knows secrets before the characters, and it leads to the most delicious building on tension and anticipation.

Samantha has had it rough - so much has happened to her in such a short time, and she is really feeling it. I thought the exploration of the mental impact of her trauma was excellently done and it was very sympathetic in how it was dealt with.

I liked seeing Josh grow and mature. His family issues he has to deal with are pretty extreme, there is so much going on, and he has such a right to be angry. It was amazing to see him be willing to listen and set that anger aside.

Chloe was a big surprise. I wasn't expecting any of the story to be told from her perspective, but so much makes sense now about her. I understand her motivations. I couldn't put this book down as I wanted to know exactly what secrets Chloe had lurking in her past. And I wasn't prepared. Chloe changes so much between the first and last pages of the book and I loved to see it.

This book did at times have a bit of a domestic-thriller feel, especially for Chloe's narration as more of her story was revealed. My heart broke for her, and although I had resented her somewhat in previous books I really empathised with what she's been through. She has her reasons for being the way she is.

The settings of Hedgehog Hollow, the Yorkshire Wolds, and the seaside village of Whitsborough Bay and not only stunning and vividly detailed, but they are almost characters in themselves. The places have personality, they come alive, and I feel like I've been on a bit of an adventure. I feel like I've been there. But oh, what I'd give to sit on the bench and stare out at the meadow.

Hedgehog Hollow really has it all - drama, secrets, messy families and hidden pasts. It breaks your heart and then puts it together piece by piece, sticking everything together with hope and kindness. I have cried and laughed and cried again.

The ending was... Well, not quite what I wanted but in a really good way. But can book four hurry up please?

This book can be read as a standalone - there is an excellent recap at the beginning that gives you the gist of what's happened and the story stands well on its own. But by doing that you will miss out on the most incredible story arc: Hedgehog Hollow is a very special series, and one I hope I can read more of in future. It's one I'll definitely revisit too as the characters have worked their way into my heart.

I wanted to share the burden but where could I start? It was too big, too complicated, too scary.


Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland blog tour banner



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17 comments:

  1. Hi Cora, thanks for joining in the blog tour for Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow and for your absolutely gorgeous review. So delighted you're loving all your trips to Hedgehog Hollow and the growth of the characters across the stories. Absolutely thrilled by the domestic-thriller comment. Wow! What a compliment! Really chuffed you feel the setting so strongly too. Every time I write about Thomas's bench and looking at the meadow, I feel I'm right there and have such a sense of calm. I had a negative review for the 2nd book recently saying "too much sitting on Thomas's bench" which made me laugh. There could never be too much time on Thomas's bench. It's one of the key points of the story. Thank you again for your lovely words xx

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  2. What a lovely review!I've never heard of this book but the cover is gorgeous!It really doesn't look like the kind of book that would discuss such themes like domestic-thriller, but it sounds like the kind I'd read! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks very much, Hannah. It's the 3rd in a series. It isn't a thriller but it has secrets in it, as per the title, and the way I reveal them is what Cora is very kindly likening to a domestic thriller. Hope you enjoy your trips to Hedgehog Hollow if you do choose to dive in :-)

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  3. Love the sound of this Cora! Such a lovely review and I've already added this to my Storygraph so will certainly be reading this soon I think!

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    1. Thank you very much! That's lovely to hear. It's the 3rd in a series (Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is the first, followed by New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow). I'd very much recommend reading in order as, although the story told within each is complete, there's a consistent main character and recurring characters and themes so reading the series in order gives a more enriching and enjoyable read :-)

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  4. Hi Cora. What a beautifully detailed and enticing review, thank you. It doesn't sound like the sort of book that I would normally read (like Lee Child's 'Jack Reacher' books) but I may just be tempted ...

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    1. Hi Richie, thank you for your kind comment. I was delighted with Cora's review. If you're a fan of the Jack Reacher books, this is nothing along those lines, but if you like something different occasionally, you never know :-)

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  5. This sounds like an interesting read! The synopsis totally got me and love the idea that you get a new narrator as the series goes on, such a great idea! Adding to my reading list x

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    1. Thanks very much Cristina. Very kind of you. It's the 3rd in a series (Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is the first, followed by New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow). I'd very much recommend reading in order as, although the story told within each is complete, there's a consistent main character (and then a secondary narrator in books 2 and 3 to add depth and contrast) and recurring characters and themes so reading the series in order gives a more enriching and enjoyable read :-)

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  6. Sounds pretty interesting with the idylic ambience. Love the covers..

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    1. Thank you very much. I'm so thrilled with the gorgeous covers for this series. Our designer did a great job :-)

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  7. This is so cute, and sounds like a heart-warming read! Thank you for sharing x

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    1. Thank you. Hope you do take a trip to Hedgehog Hollow :-)

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  8. What a lovely review. I love the sound of this book for long summer days

    Rosie

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    1. Thank you. Hope you do take a trip to Hedgehog Hollow. This third book in the series is set in spring and summer so definitely ideal for summer days :-)

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  9. This sounds like a wonderful read! Thanks for sharing this book and your thoughts on it.

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  10. This sounds like such a cute and wonderful read! Great review!

    Lois | https://loisreadsbooks.com

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