When Ellie Russet leaves home and her restaurant in the wake of disaster to housesit in the Kent countryside, the last thing she wants to do is cook for a living - ever again.
Ellie's new neighbour, Daniel Fender, is struggling to make ends meet as a furniture maker. Could the answer to his problems lie in the chestnut orchard at the bottom of the garden?
Only Ellie can help Daniel unlock the delicious secret that will bring them the fresh starts they need. And as autumn approaches, romance will blossom amid the glowing embers of the chestnut fire...
I started this story as soon as I finished The Oyster Catcher, also by Jo Thomas. The themes in both are very similar: outsider girl meets outsider boy and they try to integrate into the local community. Being from a tiny village myself I can completely relate- we too have a few 'blow-ins' from towns and cities; some happily throw themselves into village life whilst others we barely see! Suspicion of newcomers is therefore entirely natural in small knit communities, an idea apparent in both of Thomas's stories.
The Chestnut Tree is a cute short story, a perfect read for a chilly autumn day. It is wonderfully descriptive, and you can see and hear the crisp autumn leaves as if you are walking through the chestnut woods yourself. Ellie is sweet, Daniel is adorable, and yet again Jo's use of animals as characters really made me smile.
5/5 stars: I will definitely be on the lookout for more from Jo Thomas in the future!
*It was a lovely surprise to receive a copy of this book alongside my review copy of The Oyster Catcher, cheers bookbridgr!*