Appleby Farm: A Family Affair: Part 2 by Cathy Bramley

'I'll make a brilliant farmer. You wait and see. It's in my genes.'

Title - Appleby Farm: A Family Affair: Part 2
Author - Cathy Bramley 
Publication Date - 5th March 2015 
Publisher - Transworld 
Format - eBook (Self-purchased)
Pages - 99

The blurb

It's impossible not to feel cheerful at Appleby Farm, so Freya is putting her doubts about her love life to the back of her mind for now. 

But when she discovers the truth about it's financial troubles, Freya has to face up to reality: they might lose the farm. There's only one person who she can ask for help, and it's the last thing she wants to do... Can a trip to Paris change the farm's fortunes? 

As Appleby Farm's fate hangs in the balance, Freya is surprised as her own dreams for the future take shape. But who will be at her side when as her dreams become reality?

Becca's thoughts

Well, there's no other way for me to begin my review of Appleby Farm: Part 2 other than by sighing happily and announcing that it's bloody good to be back! 

In reality, it's only be a short space of time since I said farewell to Freya, but in bookworm world, it feels as if it has been an absolute age. So, as soon as I possibly could, I bought this treasure, picked up my Kindle, and slipped into the story without a single ounce of hesitation. The first thing that I noticed was that just before Freya's story picked back up from where Cathy left it in Appleby Farm: Part 2, there was a gorgeous chunk right at the very beginning titled 'Previously in Appleby Farm', allowing the reader to refresh their memory of what happened last time. I adored this! I'd read books since finished Appleby Farm: Part 1, so reading this snippet brought everything back to me, and I felt ready to start the next part with my memory up to date. 

So, in the next delightful part of Appleby Farm, Cathy really focuses on bringing Freya's past to surface, and allowing the readers to get know all about Freya's parents and how she came to spend so much of her childhood on the farm with her Aunt and Uncle. Not only this, but things really are beginning to get tough for the farm. With a final notice warning, and a mounting pile of bills, Freya is needing to come up with a solution, and fast. Uncle Arthur is now thankfully out of the hospital, but needs to seriously take things slow, meaning that Freya is now trying to take care of the farm, alongside her relationship with Charlie, and also, figure out a way to bring in some sort of extra income to try and keep everything afloat!

For me, returning to Appleby Farm made me feel exactly the same way as I do when I return home to see my family. There is something so effortlessly comforting and snuggly about this world that Cathy provides her characters and readers with, and I think it has everything to do with her gorgeous, homely descriptions. One of my particular favourites this time around was this description of the sky. I mean, yes, it's a sky, but just take a read of this and you'll quickly realise that it's not just any old sky, it's a Cathy Bramley sky!

"The early May sky was the palest blue with cotton-wool clouds bobbing along merrily..."

Gah! Appleby Farm is such an idyllic setting. From the thick dark beams that run along the ceiling of the house, to the crackling fire, and from the chickens and horses to the hay bales and barns. Everything, and I mean everything, seems to have been touched with Cathy Bramley's magic wand, and with just one little tap, ordinary things are no longer ordinary. They're pastel colours, they're cosy beds, they're mugs of warm tea. If I could live at Appleby Farm, I really, honestly, truly would. 

As I mentioned above, Cathy really knuckles down when it comes to Freya's past in Appleby Farm: Part 2. During a sweeping visit to Paris when Freya is in desperate need of help, bits and pieces are revealed to the reader, and slowly, we're able to put a history to Freya. Why she adores Appleby Farm so much, why she spent so much as a child there, and why, of course, she feels that Auntie Sue was more of a mother than her own ever was. We're introduced to Freya's parents, we get a glimpse of how different Freya is to her Mum and Dad, and we're also given a real insight into the fiercely independent side of Freya's being. For me, personally, seeing this side of Freya allowed me to build up an even bigger image of her character within my mind. I was able to understand why she is the way that she is, and how she managed to become the person that she is today. 

I think my ultimate favourite part of Appleby Farm: Part 2 was watching Freya's creativity and imagination come to life. Her ideas about Appleby are now beginning to blossom, and I have to say I LOVED what she comes up with! The farm could definitely do with a source of extra income, and as you well know readers, Freya is not one to sit around and do nothing. So, she gets her thinking cap and begins to plan, and plan she does! Again, this determination to help her family and to ensure that Appleby Farm isn't snatched away only adds heaps to her character! Seeing Freya desperate to figure out a way to help had me respecting her endlessly. She becomes focused and doesn't allow anything or anyone to step in her way. I think Cathy has done such a terrific job of opening her character up even more to the reader. I mean, just after reading Part 1, I felt like I knew Freya completely, but as the parts are continuing, I'm just loving her more and more, as well as her family who I utterly adore and want nothing but the best for! They all work hard, they all love Appleby Farm, and I just know that whatever Freya has up her sleeve, she's going to knock everybody's socks off once she truly gets going. 

Of course, it's not all about Appleby Farm! Cathy has brought all aspects of Freya's life into the mix, and that's not excluding her love life! Charlie is still very much on Freya's mind. After their argument in part one, Freya is very much in two minds about how things are going to work between them when she decides to stay on Appleby Farm and save the day. What makes matters even more tricky is that Freya's childhood friend, Harry, is back on the scene, and he's looking mighty fine! But, they're only friends, aren't they? 

Readers, I really think that keeping up with the Appleby Farm series is the perfect way to welcome spring and summer this year. It is such a LOVELY place to be, endlessly comforting even despite the problems that are gradually cropping up. But, I have complete faith in Freya and I just know that she's going to knock out something fantastic that's going to blow everybody away, and I cannot wait to see how it all plays out! Cathy Bramley, thank you so much! I become more and more of a fan of yours with everything that I read. You are fantastic! FIVE SCRUMMY CUPCAKES FROM ME! 


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