This is the story of how we came to Frith. And we’re never, ever, ever leaving.’
Amy Connell and Lan Honey are having the best childhood, growing up on a West Country farm – three families, a couple of lodgers, goats, dogs and an orphaned calf called Gabriella Christmas.
The parents are best friends too. Originally from the city, they’re learning about farming: growing their own vegetables, milking the goats, slaughtering chickens and scything the hay–
‘Mind your eyes! Don’t break your neck! Careful!’
The adults are far too busy to keep an eye on Amy and Lan, and Amy and Lan would never tell them about climbing on the high barn roof, or what happened with the axe that time, any more than their parents would tell them the things they get up to – adult things, like betrayal – that threaten to bring the whole fragile idyll tumbling down.
My thoughts on Amy & Lan
Amy and Lan have the type of childhood that most children don’t get to experience anymore. By that, I don’t mean living on a farm or in a commune. I mean, having the freedom to roam, to spend time with friends without having to find time in their over-scheduled lives, without their mobile phones being the first thing they pick up on a morning. It is the type of life it’s hard – if not impossible – to find nowadays. And, in many ways, it sounds idyllic.
Of course, this is a novel (a very well written one) so nothing can be that perfect. And it isn’t for Amy and Lan. Being children, though, and having parents who are very good (most of the time) at hiding the truth from them, they have no idea. Which – as a reader – made me kind of sad. Because their lives were falling apart at the same time they were at their happiest.
So many times I wanted to put this book down and avoid the inevitable – the ending I knew was coming. The ending I knew would be sad. And yet I couldn’t put the book down because the characters were so compelling and the story so beautifully written. I felt part of Amy and Lan’s world and I wanted to stay there for as long as I could.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt like this about a book – totally immersed. Though maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because I’ve enjoyed everything else by Jones that I’ve read. She really does have a wonderful way with words. And this was a wonderful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book. Highly recommended (5 out of 5 stars).
Please note: I received this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.
Find on Amazon UK
Find on Amazon US