Thank you for all the post likes, follows and support so far. This is my first short story or novella review. Hope you enjoy it.
The Apple Orchard by Veronica Henry
About the author
Veronica Henry went to eight different schools due to having a parent in the army. Henry studied Classics at Bristol University and a bi-lingual secretarial course. One of her first jobs was working as a Production Secretary on The Archers at Pebble Mill in Birmingham; it used to take her two and a half hours to type up the script on a typewriter. From there Henry became a script writer for Central Television. Henry has worked on Crossroads, Boon, Heartbeat, and Holby City. In 2000 Henry got her first book published and has never looked back, she has now written 19 novels and is working on her 20th.
In the charming town of Peasebrook, there’s a place for everyone. War vet Joe has made new friends and a new home for himself here, overlooking a beautiful apple orchard. But when tragedy strikes and Joe is left out in the cold, it will bring them all together in entirely unexpected ways . . .
This little novella I read during my breakfast, I do occasionally dig out the neglected Kindle and read something off it and for some reason I always choose breakfast to do this. In my defence I bought the Kindle for holidays as I still prefer a real book to read from. Anyway enough about my neglected Kindle!
I have never read any books by Veronica Henry but was made by my parents to listen to The Archers for many years, so I am familiar with her work as Peaches the barmaid. All I can say is after reading The Apple Orchard I will definitely be buying some of her books and reading them in the near future. I hope her full novels have the same relatable characters and situations as this novella has.
This little novella is Henry’s first venture into writing novellas and I downloaded it for free on to my kindle, sadly what I was not expecting was that a large chunk of it was actually a sample of her latest book. I would have really liked a longer novella instead, as the story was excellent but just too short in my opinion.
The story is focused on Joe who is a very troubled man but who has made a new life for himself after leaving everything he had before behind. His new life is very simple but a happy contented one with his little dog Digby and his music that he uses to make an income busking.
This story shows how villagers can pull together and make a big difference to people’s lives and in doing so their own lives. It also briefly reflects how war veterans need help and fall through the system, which inevitably means their lives change irrevocably.
I found this a very moving read and now I reflect on it, I can not quite believe how many subjects are touched upon in such a short story. There is homelessness, PTSD, alcoholism, hostels that still refuse dogs even though a great deal of homeless people would rather sleep on the streets than abandon their dogs, kindness, love, regrets, and so much more. Henry writes about real life situations and characters and that makes it a relatable and enjoyable read.
The main issue I had was the story was just too short and I wanted the characters to be fleshed out a little and to learn more about them. I also did not appreciate how it came with a massive sample of her new book, in fact only 30% of the book was the short story advertised and the rest was the sample. I really hate it when books do this, but that could be just me.
I highly recommend this short story, it will not take you long to read and it is free on amazon kindle, so make a cup of tea or coffee, get a piece of cake and curl up and have a good read.
5 out of 5 stars from me.
Lady Book Dragon.