Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Olive Branch by Jo Thomas

You can buy almost anything online these days. For Ruthie Collins, it was an Italian farmhouse. 

Yet as she battles with a territorial goat and torrential rain just to get through the door of her new Italian home, the words of Ed, her ex, are ringing in her ears. She is daft, impetuous and irresponsible. But Ruthie is determined to turn things around and live the dream. 

First, though, she must win over her fiery neighbour, Marco Bellanouvo, and his tempestuous family...and then there's the small matter of running an olive farm. 

As the seasons change and new roots are put down, olives and romance might just flourish in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

I was instantly drawn to The Olive Branch thanks to its alluring cover and inviting synopsis, having thoroughly enjoyed The Oyster Catcher last year I couldn’t wait to lose myself in Jo Thomas’s new release.

After her recent break up with Ed, Ruthie is dreading the prospect of having to return to her mother’s she makes a bold and somewhat crazy decision and buys a rundown Italian Farmhouse.
It soon became apparent as soon as Ruthie arrived in southern Italy that things were not going to be quite as rosy as she though it would be as she faces the first hurdle of the torrential rain and a territorial goat and that is before she even makes her way inside the farmhouse! To top matters off she then finds out that she is now in charge of running the olive farm which she doesn’t have the first clue about. Could this be the distraction she needs or will she be going home to her mums just as everyone expects.

I loved Ruthie she was such a fun character who had so many different qualities to her she had such strength and determination and even if she has doubt she would still pull herself back up and crack on with the task in hand. Her heart is in the right place and I was really routing for her the whole way through, I really wanted to see her settle down and enjoy this new life she holds in her hands. A book set in the idyllic setting of Italy wouldn’t be complete without an Italian gentleman who makes us weak at the knees! Marco was a pure gentleman who is on hand to help Ruthie and although he is finding it hard to accept that Ruthie now owns Masseria Bellanuovo he still finds himself unable to step away.

The book flows at a gentle pace and is a perfect holiday read as it has a light storyline that isn’t challenging but still manages to pull you in and at points it will even have you chuckling away as there were some witty parts to this book as well as a humorous goat called Daphne!

Jo Thomas has again managed to describe this charming Trullo in the exquisite countryside setting of Puglia in great detail that it makes it easy to visualise and the descriptions of the tastes and smells of the olives and Olive Oil were tickling the tastebuds!

This book has given me such a strong urge to visit Italy although I wouldn’t want to take on such a large challenge like Ruthie did! I would still say that The Oyster Catcher is my favourite but I still found myself charmed by this storyline.

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