#BookReview – The Cheesemaker’s house by Jane Cable @JaneCable @rararesources
The Cheesemaker's House by Jane Cable
Published by Troubadour Publishing Ltd. on 1st October 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Paranormal
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Inspired by a framed will found in her dream Yorkshire house, which had been built at the request of the village cheesemaker in 1726, Jane Cable discovered the historical aspect of her novel. Set near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, The Cheesemaker’s House is a page-turner that will have readers hooked instantly.
The novel follows the life of Alice Hart, who escapes to the North Yorkshire countryside to recover after her husband runs off with his secretary. Battling with loneliness but trying to make the best of her new start, she soon meets her neighbours, including handsome builder Richard Wainwright and kind café owner Owen Maltby. As Alice employs Richard to start renovating the barn next to her house, all is not what it seems. Why does she start seeing Owen when he clearly isn’t there? Where – or when – does the strange crying come from? And if Owen is the village ‘charmer’, what exactly does that mean?
Cable’s characters are shrouded in mystery, particularly Owen, who had been in her head from the summer of 2008. Her father had an interest in folklore and she discovered ‘charmers’ in a book from his extensive library. Around the same time she created Alice through a short piece of fiction which became the original opening of the novel, and the rest of the story simply fell into place.
The Cheesemaker’s House won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition, reaching the last four out of over a thousand entries.
I am going to admit something to you now. I only started this book last night at about 10pm, as I fell asleep in the early evening and then panicked as I realised my review was due today! Mass panic, so once I calmed down and opened the book, then next thing I knew was it was 12:45am (!) and I had finished the book. From the opening pages, I got goosebumps, I was drawn into this slow burner. I had so many questions throughout this book, and the story of Alice and Owen would not let me rest even if I wanted to sleep.
This review may be vague because there is so much that I can’t say. When I picked up this book, I did so without reading any reviews and I am quite glad I didn’t, I didn’t want anything taken away from this experience and I don’t want to ruin yours. There is so much more to the story than the blurb lets on, and even that does not do it justice.
Alice escapes to North Yorkshire, her husband left her after getting a young spritely receptionist pregnant, and she needs to escape. She moves into New Cottage, and it sounds perfect, albeit needing work. She pops into the town and finds a cute coffee shop hidden away where she meets Owen. Owen then gives her the number for Richard who can help with refurbishments required at her cottage. We have Margaret, an elderly lady who is Owen’s neighbour and Adam, Owen’s best friend, all are integral to the story and I loved each and every one of the characters in this book.
As we progress further into this beautifully haunting book, things start going awry, when Alice hears the incessant heartbreaking sounds of someone sobbing, but not able to pinpoint the location (cue the goosebumps). Richard and Alice see Owen in places he really couldn’t be, and secrets are kept. Things are just not what they seem in New Cottage and they test Alice and Owen to the limit. The one clue I can give is this book reminded me of one of my favourite films based in a hotel with Steve Guttenberg, Daryl Hannah and Peter O’Toole (I am not naming the film for the fear of giving too much away) but there is some likeness between the two.
I love this book is based on a real place that the author fell in love with, and from the beautiful description we are entrusted with in this book, I can easily see why. In my head this place is perfect, and the historical element had me intrigued.
This book is a slow burner, but again as I gush over it, it is a beautiful story spanning decades. When we arrive at the end of the book, I cried, the conclusion was loving, heartwarming and just a little bit tragic, but to me, perfect. I am adding Jane’s other book the Faerie Tree to my list to read, as I absolutely love her writing.
I think this might just be one of my favourite books of the year so far.
*Thank you so much to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and the author Jane Cable for a copy of this book in return for my honest and unbiased review*
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About Jane Cable
Although brought up in Cardiff, Jane Cable left Wales to study at the age of eighteen and has lived in England ever since. Her father was Anglo-Welsh poet Mercer Simpson so growing up in a house full of books Jane always read – and wrote. In 2011 she started to take her hobby seriously when The Cheesemaker’s House, which became her debut novel, reached the final of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. She writes romance with a twist of mystery which has been published independently and through the UK ebook giant, Endeavour Press. Jane is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a director of Chindi Authors.
In 2017 Jane moved to Cornwall and this year will become a full time author. She’s passionate about her new home, cricket, travelling and her husband of 22 years – although not necessarily in that order
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: