A Taste of Home
By Heidi Swain
Published by Simon and Schuster
What it’s about?
Fliss Brown has grown up living with her mother on the Rossi family’s Italian fruit farm. But when her mother dies, Fliss finds out she has a family of her own, and heads back to England with Nonna Rossi’s recipe for cherry and almond tart and a piece of advice: connect with your family before it is too late…
Fliss discovers that her estranged grandfather owns a fruit farm himself, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, and she arrives to find a farm that has fallen into disrepair. Using her knowledge gleaned from working on the Rossi farm and her desire to find out more about her past, Fliss rolls her sleeves up and gets stuck in. But what will she discover, and can she resurrect the farm’s glory days and find a taste of home…?
What I think:
This was my first visit to Wynbridge and I will definitely return.
The book opens with Fliss saying goodbye to her Mother, an event that no matter your age or the circumstances I don’t think you would ever be ready for. After the funeral a letter from her mother reveals that she does have a Grandfather back in England.
Torn between curiosity and loyalty to her surrogate Italian family, she decides in a short visit and packs her back.
What she discovers in Wynbridge is an elderly Grandfather who is recovering for an operation and a farm that is in need of rejuvenation.
The relationship between Fliss and her Grandfather is the central relationship in the book. Despite never telling her about life in England, Fliss’s mother has equippedher with all of the skills to return to the farm and make a success of the family business. Perhaps she saw in Fliss the qualities that she herself was missing.
The relationship builds slowly and there are of course misunderstandings and bumps along the road, but there is an instant affinity between them. And it is clear that they both love and respect each other.
This is a book that is full of love and joy. There’s romance and friendship. Characters and locations from previous books in the Wynbridge series – which are now being added to my already towering TBR pile! – appear, and Fliss find herself part of a welcoming and supportive community. A fact that makes her decision to stay in Wynbridge the right one.
There is a lot of food mentioned in this book – it will definitely make you want to go fruit picking in the summer.
This is my favourite Heidi Swain book so far – it was a joyful read that was hard to put down. Perfect for the summer.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the gifted copy as part if the Tandem Collective Readalong. It’s been lovely talking about the book as we read and sharing ideas.