This is the fourth edition of the Hedgehog Hollow series, and the first one I have read – a situation I would love to remedy quickly!
Based in the dreamy countryside of Yorkshire Wolds, this delightful book reads like a visit with friends, an extended “family” of wonderful characters whose adventures, romances, secrets and hardships are intertwined throughout the series. Each book features our main protagonist, Samantha Wishaw, with a deeper dive into the and background surrounding family members, some more prominent than others in each edition.
Sam herself is a lovely lady – a former district nurse now running a hedgehog rescue operation in a farm donated to her by a generous (and now deceased) patron. Sam is a wonderful protagonist – sensitive and deeply caring, vulnerable, estranged from a difficult mother (with great difficulty, Sam has learned to set boundaries and not to be a pushover), and working hard to combat PTSD which has developed after a series of violent attacks, which are described in more detail in previous books.
The story alternates between two first person narrative streams – Sam herself, and Phoebe, a volunteer at the rescue center, an accountant in training, and a young woman (18 years old) with a whole lot of trauma and pain already crammed into one short and difficult life.
Without giving the plot away, the author manages to balance a host of difficult and dark issues, (including child abuse, sexual assault, PTSD) with an abundance of kindness, compassion, and love – somehow managing to create a poignant and heartwarming hug of a book, where at the end of the day, hedgehogs (including even the tiniest of hoglets) are safely nurtured back to health, goodness outweighs evil, and the door is always open (sensibly, comfortably, and only with mutual respect) for anyone needing a friend.
I can’t wait to read more in this charming series – the antidote to whatever ails you – gifted to the reader in both a wonderfully light and satisfyingly substantive package.
My stop today on the @rararesources #blogtour for #AWeddingAtHedgehogHollow by @JessicaRedland @bookandtonic
A great big thank you to the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.