I am very exited to be today’s stop on the blog tour for The Country Set by Fiona Walker.
I first read one of Fiona’s books around 20 years ago and I still get hugely excited when I hear that a new one is about to be released!
Title: The Country Set (Compton Magna #1)
Author: Fiona Walker
Publisher: House of Zeus
Publication Date: 5 October 2017
Love affairs, village rivalries, horses, jealousy and secrets – fans of Fiona Walker’s bestselling Hugo and Tash novels will relish this return to her classic territory with a whole new cast of Cotswold village characters.
Compton Magna and Compton Bagot sit high on the Fosse Hills to either side of the Gloucestershire/Warwickshire border, just half a mile apart. They form the backdrop to this rich story of old secrets and new rivalries, as glamorous Ronnie Ledwell returns to take up the reins of her father’s stud farm, years after she scandalised family and friends by eloping with her lover, abandoning both husband and children.
News of her return will well and truly set the cat among the pigeons…
The County Set is the start of a new series from bestselling author Fiona Walker. Walker’s books tend to be pretty substantial – this one being 870 pages – so, don’t expect The Country Set to be a quick read! (In fact, my review copy never turned up so after buying the book from Amazon last weekend, I only just managed to get it finished this morning!!) However, I love a book that you can really get stuck into. A book of this length gives the author time to really create a world for the reader to jump into.
In this case, that world is the village of Compton Magna and, in particular, Compton Magna stud farm owned by the Percy family. When the elderly owner, Captain Jocelyn Percy is found dead in his wine cellar, his family gathers for his funeral, including his wayward daughter Ronnie who put a few noses out of joint when she absconded from the village a good number of years previously.
Set in the beautiful English countryside, The Country Set centres predominantly around a number of the female villagers, of which each character had a subplot throughout the story.
I will admit that it took a good few chapters for me to get the characters and subplots straight in my head, however those plotlines gradually start to intertwine and result in an entertaining tale of families, village feuds, nosy neighbours, horse enthusiasts and scandal! With an abundance of dashing men, beautiful women, horses and dogs, you just know that The Country Set is going to be a proper countryside romp (think Jilly Cooper-esque!).
There is a great cast of characters in the book, including: dynamic landowner and entrepreneur Bay Austen; romance writer Petra Gunn, busy-body housekeeper Pip Edwards, local vet Gill Walcote and ex-army wife and young mum Carly Turner. The book contains a list of the characters at the beginning which is a great reference tool if I forgot who a character was!
The one thing I have always enjoyed about Walker’s books is her writing style. There is always a level of humour in her writing, from the slight caricaturization of the cast, to the satirical view of village life, to the light-hearted send-up of ‘the horsey set’ and their hopelessly privileged and out-of-touch mentality… Walker uses a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ style that has proved successful for her time and time again.
If you enjoy a tale of family feuds, scandal, secrets and horses, The Country Set may well be the perfect book for you! It is a feel-good romp and a good measure of light-hearted escapism, perfect for snuggling down on the sofa in the evening.
Thank you to Head of Zeus for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.
About the Author
Fiona Walker is the bestselling author of seventeen novels. She lives in Warwickshire with her partner and two children plus an assortment of horses and dogs. Visit Fiona’s website at www.fionawalker.com.
Catch up with the rest of the blog tour as listed below…