This is book three of a super cool series by Kate Hewitt. Even though you can read them as standalones, they’re each so good that I think you should read them all!
I thought I wouldn’t like cool, haughty, richy-rich Harriet with the snotty daughter, but I did! Harriet fit herself right in to Willoughby Close, despite her own discomfort, for the good of her children. She made some missteps, screwed up a few things marriage-wise, and was more materialistic than I could stomach … but Harriet redeemed herself by showing heart and diving in to a journey of self-discovery and development.
I so enjoyed Harriet’s adventures with her children, the elderly neighbor, and the family next door. I also appreciated Harriet’s time spent alone – where Hewitt showed the reader quite clearly Harriet’s struggles and growth. Who knew I would come to love Harriet so much? And that after she changed she would be loved just as dearly by her family and new friends.
I can’t say enough about Hewitt’s masterful development of characters. Applause from me for writing light stories with meaningful messages and big heart.
A Cotswold Christmas introduced this series, but you can certainly read Willoughby Close as a standalone. Willoughby Close is a little collection of charming cottages on a large estate of a lovely royal-ish elderly lady. I have a feeling a collection of charming people will inhabit them all by the time the series is finished!
For now, we meet Ellie and her daughter Abby. Ellie has a new job at the University, and Abby is looking forward to making a fresh start where friends are concerned.
I so love how Hewitt wrote professor Oliver — the guy Ellie works for. He’s nerdy and introverted and stays true to himself. Hewitt did a phenomenal job developing Ellie, as well. Ellie is a little nervous and quirky, and she’s quite unsure of herself most of the time. That could be annoying, but not here. Hewitt made her real and relatable. I like Ellie’s mom side and her romantic side – she appears to the reader as a whole fleshed out character with different facets – just like a pal in real life!
I also really like how the new neighbors moved in and they’ll be the focus of the next book in the series. And how the Close’s superintendent is a flirt! This is a fun read that touches on some harrowing issues in just the right way.