[BLOG TOUR] BOOK REVIEW: FAMILY SECRETS AT HEDGEHOG HOLLOW BY JESSICA REDLAND

Thank you to Jessica Redland, Boldwood Books, Netgalley and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy of this book for an honest review in exchange. 

Every family has its secrets, and at Hedgehog Hollow there is no exception…

It was always Samantha’s dream to run her beautiful rescue centre, Hedgehog Hollow, full-time. But just as her wish comes true, she becomes a victim of her own kindness when she finds herself with a house full of guests – all with their own problems and secrets – looking to her for support.

When her self-absorbed cousin, Chloe, unexpectedly turns up at the farm – swiftly handing over her baby to Samantha to care for – trouble is definitely brewing. Especially as Chloe won’t tell anyone why she’s left her husband, James…

As Samantha juggles new hedgehog arrivals, family dramas and her own health challenges, it soon becomes clear that she needs to start putting herself first for once. Little does she know that life-changing secrets from the past are about to unravel and turn their lives upside down…

Return to glorious Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a heart-warming, emotional but uplifting story of family, friendship and moving on from the past.

It really is always so exciting to be back at Hedgehog Hollow and I can’t believe we’re already at book three – how time flies!

The book starts off from where book two finished, with the appearance of a family member we absolutely would not have expected to voluntarily drop by. Sam and Josh are now happily engaged and moving forward from past events, Josh’s Dad is still holding out for a miracle and Beth is recovering with two beautiful children by her side. The sanctuary isn’t only just filling up with hedgehogs at this point! Now grudges have been let go of and the family are able to adjust to their new lives together, we have the Queen of drama herself, make a delightful appearance – Sam’s cousin, Chloe. Despite Jessica’s outstanding writing talents, making every single one of her characters so extremely loveable, I definitely had my doubts with reading from the perspective of Chloe. Over the previous two books, Chloe had become my least favourite character within the main characters and her whiney attitude had me feeling nervous about her POV – however, we should always trust Jessica with the process, because what a story Chloe ended up having, wow! The flashback scenes to Chloe’s past ended up being my most favourite points of the story, craving to find out what happened in the end! By the end of the book, I found myself extremely emotional towards Chloe’s own emotional journey to recovery and was glad that, with the support of her family, she was able to find self-acceptance within herself and let go of a past that has held on to her for so long. Jessica pieced Chloe’s story together and now everything makes so much more sense. My whole perspective on her has done a complete 360 turn and I can’t wait to reunite with her again in the future.

Now, it’s time for all of the Samantha swooning – It’s safe to say that Samantha has had it rough and she is most certainly a woman who does not deserve half of the trauma she has had to endure, but she always come out as the fighter she is and continues to inspire me. After the amount of trauma that Samantha endured throughout the second book, the third book explores the aftermath of all that happened, highlighting largely on PTSD. Samantha begins to hallucinate and pass out quite regularly, as she carries the weight of the sanctuary on her shoulders, along with treating her home like a hotel, never allowing herself any alone time with Josh. There is nothing more I want to do than protect Samantha, Josh and the hedgehogs from everybody else, but Samantha will always be the most gorgeous woman and never leave anyone in trouble. It’s her strength and weakness! Along with feeling extremely emotional over Samantha’s struggles with PTSD, I found myself tearing up a lot around the scenes between Sam and her mother. There has been so much tension between these two from the very first book and it was the best thing to finally see some progression. I couldn’t imagine having such a strained relationship with my own mum and life is much too short to hold grudges. It was lovely to see her mum opening up to the sanctuary and allowing her interest and passion for hedgehogs to shine back through – I had so much faith in Samantha’s mum, that she wasn’t the bitter lady she was portraying and I’m so glad she proved me right. I knew she could be the mum she needed to be to Samantha and again, like Chloe, it was a matter of self-acceptance and allowing herself to let go of the past. 

It was an absolute pleasure to be back amongst the stunning and vivid scenery of Hedgehog Hollow. I am always so in awe of the world Jessica has created, along with her characters. Everything and everyone shines through with such strong and admirable personalities, you end up feeling like you are there yourself and quite frankly, I wish I was! What I would give to be by Samantha’s side helping out with the Hedgehogs, feeling serene and at peace with the world! Although, it definitely doesn’t come without it’s drama and secrets. Especially where that ending is concerned, oh my goodness! Jessica has left us one big cliff-hanger and one that I was most definitely not expecting. I can’t believe we have to wait until January 2022 to see what happens, eek! 

Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow is a story filled with love, family, drama, secrets, and friends with some unexpected twists and turns, that will have you smiling from cheek to cheek, welling up with tears from every type of emotion and gasping in suspense and surprise. I’m so excited to return to this gorgeous set of characters in 2022 for ‘A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow’ and have all the faith that this time round, everything will fall perfectly in to place for our beloved Samantha. There’s no question that Jessica is really making us work hard for a happily ever after, bring it on book four!

Shelby x

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1 Comment

  1. Jessica Redland
    May 13, 2021 / 6:36 pm

    Wow! What an amazing review. Thank you so much Shelby. I absolutely loved reading this. So interesting to hear your thoughts on Chloe and the turnaround in your view of her as her story unfolded and thank you for your kind comments on the way I’ve addressed the mental health issues. In fact, thank you for all your kind comments. Absolutely LOVE this review! The hedgehogs look forward to welcoming you back in January x

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