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When quirky bookworm Florence Danver loses her job, she knows it’s time to make some serious changes. Nanna Margot encourages Flo to spend a week at Camp Calla Lily, where she hasn’t been since she lost her parents. Her return is filled with bittersweet memories… until she meets Jo Hadlee.

Soon enough, Flo and fellow dreamer Jo are inseparable as they connect over books and build castles in the air. But when Jo leaves suddenly for his job in London, the fantasy bubble bursts and real-life comes roaring back in.

For Florence to turn her fairy-tale summer into a happily-ever-after, she’ll have to dive head-first into real life and all its chaos.

Well, it’s that time of year again where I completely fall in love with another of Lucy’s magical stories and have the desire to ramble on about it to my heart’s content. I have been patiently anticipating the story of Florence and Jo ever since finishing One Snowy Week in Springhollow and as always, it was certainly worth the wait. Like most books on my blog, we always have to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of their covers and I could swoon over this one all day long. It perfectly captures the cosiness that Lucy is providing through her story telling and allows you to envision the most enchanting place you’re going to visit this year. 

It didn’t take me long at all to fall head over heels in love with our leading lady, Florence Danver; with her magnificent imagination, her adorable accents, her eccentric personality, her envious wardrobe choices and her strong love for books. After Lucy’s leading lady Scarlett, Florence is now another character who has allowed me to feel represented and connected within the pages. Like Florence, I am also a dreamer and tend to find love within fictional characters rather than in the real world, knowing all too well that it will only end up in hurt. I have a never-ending list of fictional boyfriends that I find happiness in and have always loved living in that bubble, despite people always trying to pop it. I just really resonated with Florence in such a special way and all of the advice given to her from Jo, her Nanna and Bronte; they were all words that I needed to hear myself, despite me not realising it. Florence has taught me that dreaming is a magical and wonderful experience, but we also need to become brave enough to allow these dreams to become a reality. She has taught me that we need to look for all of the beauty in the world and hold on to it tightly, embrace it and explore it. There was also a heavy depth included in Florence’s heart that also forced her to shy away from letting love in and that was the loss of her parents; once she had allowed them to help guide her in the right directions of the life she deserved, she was truly able to begin her healing process and what better way than at Camp Calla Lily?

Camp Calla Lily is every dreamers dream world, that can whisk you away to endless adventures and picturesque sights, that allow your imagination to run wild. The power of Lucy’s stunning descriptions of Camp Calla Lily had me falling in to the pages alongside Florence, twirling around in my own little pink hut and sitting outside in the early hours of the morning, curled up with a romantic book that filled my heart up with so much warmth. It was the perfect place to walk the streets with serenity, visit the Vintage Bookshop, enjoy a delicious breakfast at Sal’s café and dance around the barn until the stars come up. Lucy created a place so special here that every reader is going to be filled with envy, that this isn’t a place we can actually escape to and be our true selves without a care in the world. The characters within Camp Calla Lily and Manchester were a delightful set, always encouraging Florence to be the most genuine version of herself, also giving me some life lessons along the way. Florence had really found her place within Camp Calla Lily and a certain gorgeous man was of help to that…

Jo Hadlee is pretty much the man you always wish to meet in romance books and he absolutely ticked every single box. A dreamer like Florence, the two spent a week in daydreams and adventures, getting to know one another in an array of accents and whilst fixing the barn that had so much potential amongst it. The two of them endured paint fights, endless hours of talking about their favourite books, sharing their dreams and slowly but surely, falling in love. Despite the two being absolutely made for each other, they both held on to a lot of insecurities over not being good enough, believing the other to want a partner that is expected of us in society. The two of them meeting seemed too good to be true to start off with, but no matter how much Florence wanted to fight off her butterflies, she had started to believe that this could be real. Jo was every bit of a good man, who had the gentlest of hearts and wanted the best for loved ones around him. He had a painful past that made him vulnerable to people who wanted to take advantage of him, however, he was passionate and stood for what he believed in. He helped make all of Florence’s dreams come true and more. He was an admirable man and one that will have book worms swooning in to the pages. 

The Little Barn of Dreams is a story filled with endless possibilities, imaginations running wild and a chance for everybody to be who they were meant to be. It is going to fill your heart with so much magic, so much warmth and a lot of encouragement to shine in the world. 

Shelby x


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