I’ve wanted to read this for a while and I was lucky enough to win an audiobook download of The Farm at Peppertree Crossing, which worked perfectly as I had no audiobooks waiting for me at the library.
This story kept me listening even when I turned off the car, I wanted to know how it would all turn out and whether Roni, our lead character managed to move on from her past and learn to trust the people around her who are showing that they care.
I have to admit that I didn’t really like Roni for pretty much the entire novel, she was just far too prickly for me and jumped to conclusions about others all the time, even when they’d shown her she could rely on them. I empathised with her, however, and understood part of where she was coming from, she’d been through the foster system and had been abused, as well as abandoned as a baby, all things that had taught her no one could be trusted and everyone was only out for what they could get from you. Love, trust, compassion, honesty, and friendship were all things she had no concept of other than to believe she didn’t need them.
When Roni is left an inheritance by an aunt she never knew, she has a lot to deal with, not the least finding out who her mother is and uncovering plenty of secrets, she also has to do a few tasks in order to gain her inheritance. She misjudges why her aunt set her the tasks, she misjudges many things, but she does grow throughout the journey of fulfilling these tasks. Every time I thought she was moving forward, she’d do something that made me wonder when she was going to loosen up a bit and start trusting those around her, especially Tracy and Matt.
I loved Tracy, her aunt’s best friend, without whom Roni would never have been able to get through the trials of moving and learning. I also loved Matt, the farmer her aunt has a deal with to work on her farm. He was a gem, though he had his own demons and his up and down manner made it hard for Roni to get a proper understanding of him, mind you, I think she would have struggled even if he’d been super open and lovely all the time.
I loved Scritches, her cat, and all the other animals on the farm. There is a scene with Scritches that had me near tears as I was driving along as I’d come to adore him and knew how much he meant to Roni.
This was a really good read (listen), I do wonder if I’d have liked Roni more had I read the novel myself, the narrator possibly made her come across as more prickly than if I’d been reading her character in my own head, but then again, maybe not.
I look forward to seeing what Leonie Kelsall writes next.