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Review of 'Frost Falls At The Potting Shed' - Jenny Kane

'Frost Falls At The Potting Shed' is the first of a new series from Jenny Kane. I came to this with high expectations and it had a lot to live up to after I fell in love with the Mill Grange series. However, I'm pleased to say that this series shows all the signs of being every bit as good as its predecessor. In Maddie there is a strong female lead - damaged and a bit battered, but still upright and fighting for her family’s legacy and the supporting characters are equally well drawn.

It took me longer to warm to Sabi, but as her character developed and her motivations became clearer, I felt much more sympathetic towards her. I understand the feeling of trying to remain true to yourself whilst simultaneously trying to fit in with a friend or group of friends whose interests (and sometimes values) are vastly different to your own. However, I love that although Miriam is the ‘ideal’ Sabi strives to emulate, not only does Sabi realise that ultimately this is futile, but she also recognises that her friend has faults. Nevertheless, Miriam is not a one-dimensional ‘villain’, the reader is definitely invited to feel some sympathy for her and I did wonder what her own story might be. We all want the best for our children and it’s easy to empathise with someone who takes that a bit too far and stops listening to what their child actually wants - it’s not a lack of love, just the desire to do what they feel is best and to ensure that said children doesn’t waste their potential.

There are elements of romance dotted throughout the book, but ultimately, this is a book about family. However many bumps there are in a relationship, the love found within a family is tremendously important to most people and it is this relationship which comes to the fore in this book. It will be interesting to see if this continues throughout the series or if future books go more down the traditional romance route.

Whatever happens, it’s safe to say that I will be eagerly awaiting the second installment in much the same way as I did with Mill Grange. The characters already feel familiar by the end of book 1 and I can’t wait to see where Jenny takes them over the course of the rest of the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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