Review Of 'The Post Office Shop' - K.T. Dady
Welcome to Pepper Bay. A small close-knit community where you’ll find chocolate box cottages, quaint shops, love, drama, and a happily ever after.
Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight – Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Phillipa Ashley, and Holly Martin.
The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories, best read in order, that intertwine with recurring characters.
The Post Office Shop: Tilly Sheridan is fifty, perimenopausal, a widow, and pretty much lives in dungarees. Her daily life consists of running her family’s small shop on Dreamcatcher Farm, where not much goes on. The last thing she expects to happen in her life is to fall in love with an ex-criminal.
Rory Murphy has just finished a fifteen-year sentence for robbery, but he is not the man who first walked into that prison. With the help of a mentor, he changed his life whilst still behind bars, and now he has been given the opportunity of working on a farm to help him integrate back into society. He’s expecting early starts, long days, backbreaking work, and lonely nights, but he finds friendship, family, and love in Pepper Bay. Is it possible for him to finally have a good life? Not if his past has anything to do with it.
I love that the protagonists are older people who still have a healthy sex life but it doesn’t shy away from the practicalities of sex, particularly as an older woman. I think this casts an important light on something which is largely ignored by society. It also demonstrates that older people have the same anxieties and insecurities (and perhaps even more) that young people do at the start of a relationship.
There are cameos from the more familiar residents of Pepper Bay and they are instrumental in ensuring the happy ever after happens as it should, but at no point do they take over the storyline and the focus is kept firmly on Tilly and Rory.
What is interesting as this series progresses is that outsiders are moving into Pepper Bay in order to allow everyone to find partners, but at no point do these outsiders ever truly feel like outsiders. The characters do (as they rightly should) but they are always introduced in such a way that they feel instantly familiar to the reader.
The other thing I like about these books is that although Pepper Bay is an idyllic community, many of life’s realities (homelessness, coercive relationships, bereavements, addictions, crime etc) are tackled but through the lens of a romance story so that whilst the reader is aware of these elements, they never feel overwhelmed by them and there is always a redemptive ending that leaves the reader with a sense of hope, not just for the characters, but for society as a whole.
Bestselling author of the Pepper Bay series, reader, mum, chocolate lover, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. When I’m not writing, I’m baking cakes or pottering around in my little garden in Essex, trying not to kill the flowers. I’m the author of contemporary romance, middle-grade, and the thought-provoking thriller about mental illness, The Focus Program.
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