The Great Village Show by Alexandra Brown

Title - The Great Village Show
Author - Alexandra Brown 
Publication Date - July 2nd 2015
Publisher - Harper
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 400

Tindledale is in a tizzy...

The Village Show competition is coming around again and after last year's spectacular failure, the villagers are determined to win. Meg, teacher at the local school, is keen to help and to impose some much-needed order.

After a terse conversation with a newcomer to the village, Meg discovers that it is celebrity chef and culinary bad boy, Dan Wright. Meg thinks he is arrogant and rude but rumour has it that Dan is opening a new restaurant in the village which could really put Tindledale on the map. 

As things come together, villagers old and new all start to come out of the woodwork, including new arrival Jessie who seems to have it all. But first impressions can be deceptive and Meg discovers that when it comes to Tindledale - and Dan - nothing is ever quite as it seems...

 I was originally introduced to the charming village of Tindledale back in 2014, when I had the pleasure of reading The Great Christmas Knit-Off (you can find my review here!) From the moment I stepped foot in Tindledale, the setting was brought completely to life for me with Alexandra's gorgeous descriptions, and it didn't take me long at all to feel at home. With such a warm, engaging group of characters coupled with the entertaining circumstances that arose, I felt as if I, myself, were a part of this wonderful community, and fell in love with the village instantly. Despite both of these books being set in Tindledale, they aren't a series, so each can be read as a standalone. 

In the latest Tindledale story, Alexandra introduces us to Meg, teacher at Tindledale's local school and single mother to Jack, who has just taken off to University. Left behind, Meg begins to feel a little lost. It had always been she and Jack together and now, without him, she's not quite sure of what to do with herself. That soon changes though, when news of the Great Village Show rolls around and alongside the villagers, Meg throws herself into the preparations. She's determined that Tindledale is going to put on one hell of a show, and I, for one, couldn't wait! Of course, things are rarely so simple, and a fair few obstacles pop up along the way that could potentially knock Meg off course. As well as preparations for the Great Village Show taking over, there's also the issue of the school inspectors poking around, a newcomer who isn't all she appears to be, and the one and only Dan Wright, celebrity chef, making an appearance and sweeping Meg right off of her feet with his damn good looks and infuriatingly bad manner. It really is all going on in Tindledale this time round!

As expected, Tindledale was as charming and as cosy as ever. The villagers were completely fantastic, drawing me right into each of their lives and ensuring that my interest remained firmly held as the novel progressed. I adored, as I did in the first Tindledale story, how swept up I became in the preparations for the show, Meg's own personal troubles, and just about everything else that was included. Alexandra writes her characters so wonderfully, it's hard to not feel for them or cheer for them whenever anything goes in or against their favour. The highs and lows, the ups and downs, they all worked together to create a fun and entertaining story that I couldn't get enough of. 

Even though the villagers of Tindledale played such a starring role within The Great Village Show and effortlessly added a warm, hearty atmosphere to Tindledale, Meg is who we spend the majority of the novel with, seeing Tindledale and the villagers through her first person narrative. It didn't take long for me to warm to Meg at all. She was fiercely protective of the things which she loved most, and truly got into her stride when it came to the village show, emphasising her determination to succeed and keep hold of what she held so dear to her heart. She clearly adored her surroundings and the people who surrounded her too. Her love for her son Jack was incredibly endearing and during the moments when she'd look back on the time when he'd been a little boy, it became clear just how much she missed him. Meg was kind, considerate and most certainly the type of woman you'd want to confide in, because you just know that she'd make you feel better, even if she has got her own problems to contend with. Meg, to me, was a woman with a heart of gold who everyone loved and admired. What I enjoyed most about Meg though, was the feisty side that simmered to the surface whenever she was around Dan Wright. It was such a fantastic contrast to her stern-teacher-face side, and even amusingly childish which we are all more than capable of becoming when faced with someone who brings it out in us so easily. During any scenes where Meg and Dan were together, I wore the most ridiculous smile, which these characters drew from me. The tension, the banter and the physical attraction was fantastic, adding a whole new dimension of romance to Meg's world, romance that she hadn't been witness to for such a very long time. 

   All in all, it was an utter delight to be back in the gorgeous village of Tindledale, alongside the wholly entertaining villagers, newcomers and sheer excitement for the upcoming show! This was undeniably cosy, mischievous and sprinkled with that unique Alexandra Brown glitter that I've come to love so much!

Becca's Books is awarding The Great Village Show by Alexandra Brown with FOUR SCRUMPTIOUS CUPCAKES! I already can't wait to revisit Tindledale in the future. It's such a comforting feeling to know that it's there, fictional or not, and I can just imagine, after finishing reading, the characters' lives continuing on, until we return once more.

*Special thanks to Alexandra Brown and Harper for providing me with a digital copy of The Great Village Show in exchange for a fair and honest review*




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