blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Village Vacancy – Julie Houston*

From the bestselling author of A Village Affair comes a laugh out loud new Westenbury tale…

As the Yorkshire village of Westenbury mourns the loss of one of their own, the women can’t help but contemplate who will fill the vacancy in one handsome widower’s life…

Grace Stevens has decided it’s time to move on without her husband. He’s off gallivanting around Devon in search of a new life, and good riddance. It’s time to go back to teaching, so Grace returns to Little Acorns and takes on an unruly class of pre-teens.

As she deals with disasters in – and out of – the classroom including an accidental dalliance with her most troublesome pupil’s dad, helping track down a drug ring and keeping up with her closest girlfriends, Grace begins to wonder more and more about the sparkle in David’s eyes and the sparking chemistry between them.

Could Grace be the one to fill this village vacancy?

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Julie Houston is the author of THE ONE SAVING GRACE, GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle #1 bestseller.

She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo
and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

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My thoughts:

I’ve read one other of this author’s books and they’re really fun reads so I was very excited about being on this blog tour and not disappointed in the slightest.

Centering on the residents of a Yorkshire village (my Grandad’s from Yorkshire and I can hear the accent in my head when I read, which is lovely) and all their busy lives, at first A Village Vacancy doesn’t seem like a hugely serious book, but underneath the comings and goings of this group of women and their families are the darker moments.

County lines drug dealing is a big concern at the moment, with young people and children drawn into drugs and couriering by dangerous gangs, often without any of the adults in their lives having a clue what’s going on.

As is the case here, the children of the residents are struggling with parents separating, school bullies, and the other emotional trauma that comes with growing up, and this can make them vulnerable.

But Julie’s book is hugely redemptive and there is hope at the end for these fragile children and their parents.

There’s also lots of other storylines to enjoy too, from Grace’s love life, to David moving on after his wife’s death, and the wonderful friendships between Harriet, Grace, Juno, Izzy and Juno’s sisters. There’s also a horse called Harry Trotter, some dogs, peacock chicks, chickens and other assorted creatures to enjoy (including lots of children!).

I loved Grace, and her adorable daughter Petroniella (as someone with a mouthful of a name I winced in sympathy – parents stop punishing your kids with names no can spell or pronounce!) and also Juno and her two, Tilda and Gabe, the first year of secondary school can be monstrous.

I’m off to order all the other books set in this village about these characters and curl up on the sofa under my reading blanket.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

2 thoughts on “Blog Tour: A Village Vacancy – Julie Houston*”

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