Tuesday 28 November 2017

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp @Laurajanekemp @orionbooks #SurprisingKindness

Sometimes all it takes to make the world a better place is a small act of kindness...When Ceri Price arrives in the small seaside village of Dwynwen in West Wales, she only means to stay for a couple of nights - long enough to scatter her mother's ashes, and then go back to her life as a successful make-up entrepreneur. 

But a case of mistaken identities means she lands a job as the barmaid in the local pub,she unexpectedly finds friendship, and wonders if love might follow... But when the plans for a new housing estate put the local woodland under threat, she fears the way of life here could disappear.

Then mysterious acts of kindness start springing up around the village - a string of bunting adorns the streets, a new village signpost appears out of nowhere and someone provides paint to spruce up the houses on the seafront. Who is behind these acts of kindness and can they help in the race to save the village from the faceless developers...?

Welcome to Dwynwen: Village of Love. Where friendship flourishes and love blossoms... 

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp is published in paperback by Orion Books in January 2018. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I have completely and utterly fallen in love with this book; with the characters, the setting and the wonderfully written story. On dark November evenings it has felt like a sprinkle of magic, cheering me up and making me smile. The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness is like the fizz of prosecco, it's infectious and addictive and pure indulgence.

Ceri Price is grieving for her mother. A single mum who brought up her daughters in a house full of laughter, and fashion and cheer. With no father, only a crumpled photograph and stories told by her mother, Ceri's world revolved around her.

She is determined to carry out her mother's last wishes and scatter her ashes in the small Welsh town of Dwynwen. Ceri has come a long way from the small house she grew up in. Her hand-made make up range, and her YouTube tutorials have brought her wealth and riches that she could never have imagined and when she arrives in Dwynwen she finds a town that feels like the land that people forgot. No wi-fi or designer coffee. No Social Media celebrities or gin bars; just an almost empty pub, a few houses and a run down shop-come-cafe.

Despite the bleak outlook and the sense of despair coming from the locals, Dwynwen is a community and Ceri is welcomed into its heart, and cherished and appreciated. Whilst she does feel guilty for keeping secrets from her new friends, she enjoys the genuine warmth and friendliness.
When Dwynwen is threatened by developers, the town really come into force; determined to fight to keep their legacy, and Ceri finds herself in the middle of it all. Willingly, and happily. She feels as though she's come home.

Laura Kemp has created a cast of character that will delight every reader, just when you think she can't possibly introduce more, she introduces her reader to yet one more, and another, and another. From eco-loving Rhodri to nine-year-old genius Henry; each and every one of these characters are wholesome and real and incredibly lovable.

This is a book of secrets and reveals, of community and kindness. There's love, and betrayal, and discovery, it's a parcel of wonder that will delight the most cold-hearted of reader. It's warm, funny and shows the importance of finding a place that you belong in, and people that will love you.

Beautifully brilliant. I love this book.

Laura Kemp writes tender but hilarious romantic comedies which are unashamed love letters to the everywoman.
She is a journalist and has written for the Guardian, Daily Mail and the Sun among others.
Laura lives with her husband, son, their ancient cat and stupid dog in Cardiff, where she goes running so she can stuff her face with crisps.

Follow all her book news at facebook.com/Laurakempbooks

or on Twitter @Laurajanekemp 

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