Cold enough to freeze cows by Lorraine Jenkin

Cold Enough to Freeze Cows

Having run a small holding, the title got me on this and I even paid for this one!!!! I’ve done the dirty, old clothes and knackered old vehicles, especially Landrovers so could empathise with Iestyn for that.  He did seem a bit hopeless with his struggle with the farm but I can also remember just how it exhausts you, ties you down and frustrates you.  The two love stories are great, but they seem to be almost the backdrop for the picture of farming life and difficulties.  Technically the book shouldn’t work as the balance of the perspectives of the characters is uneven, such as the focus on Johnny, so you wonder just who is meant to be the central character,but it’s success is that each chapter leaves you on some sort  of cliffhanger or something funny which keeps you reading on.

However, what struck me most is that there is a rural subtext going on here.  The lazy Louisa, her parents and the farmer turned bad Estate Agent, don’t get a happy end. In fact when you’ve been expecting Louisa to shrug off her laziness and become and new person, but doesn’t all seems to point to a statement that suburban is bad, farming and rural is good.  The real nobility and integrity is with the farmers.  Even Johnny’s girlfriend is saved my moving to country life as does Iestyn’s brother and girlfriend.  Good, I think country is good, towns bad.It’s a great book, good romance and its different!

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