A Secret at Tansy Falls is heartfelt, relatable, and heartwarming women’s fiction with revisit to the most beautiful setting I recently read.
A Secret at Tansy Falls by Cate Woods
Publication Date : January 20th 2022
Publisher : Bookouture
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Pages : 236
Other Book I Read By The Same Author-
The old farmhouse at Tansy Falls. A little patch of paradise in the hills of Vermont. Home to happy couple Connie and Nate. And a long-buried secret that will ignite a devastating spark…
As the summer sun sets over the sleepy Vermont town of Tansy Falls, Connie is reminded of how lucky she is. Every day, when she leaves the job she loves, managing the Covered Bridge Inn with her best friend Piper, she looks forward to returning to the farmhouse she shares with her husband Nate. At home, her flowerbeds overflow with day lilies and the weathered brick walls of her beautiful house glow in the evening light. The air is filled with the scent of the puffed apple pancakes she prepared that morning.
But one night, when Nate returns home, he is distant. He and Connie have been married for a long time, and while the laughter and lingering kisses have dwindled, Connie believed they would be together forever. So when a stranger arrives on their doorstep with a shocking secret about Nate, Connie’s life changes beyond all recognition.
Connie never thought she’d need to start over and live a life without Nate by her side. But as her heart breaks, Piper and the team at the inn are ready to help stitch it back together, with thoughtful advice washed down with warm spiced cider. As Connie begins to feel whole again, distraction arrives in the form of olive-skinned, broad-shouldered newcomer James. Nate has taught Connie that she doesn’t need a man, but James’s arrival helps her discover that she can follow her own dreams too. But as more secrets come to the surface, Connie wonders if she’ll ever truly be able to leave behind her past for good…
If you love gripping, heartbreaking romantic stories by Elin Hildebrand and Robyn Carr, you will be hooked by A Secret at Tansy Falls. A completely compelling read about secrets and betrayal that will have you reaching for the tissues.
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for tour invite and providing e-copy via NetGalley.
Review of A Secret at Tansy Falls
A Secret at Tansy Falls is heartwarming and relatable women’s fiction that revolves around Connie Austen and her marriage life that is on brink of breaking. The story is about long married life, family, friendship, love, relationship issues, betrayal, and drama.
Writing is as good as first book. It is beautiful, heartfelt, and feel good. A Secret at Tansy Falls is written in third person narrative from Connie’s perspective. Now, the first book made me fall in love with Tansy Falls as we were seeing it and community from Nell’s perspective who was new to town and falling in love with it. While in A Secret at Tansy Falls we don’t see the same beautiful description as we see Tansy Falls from the perspective of someone who lived there all her life.
Plot is interesting. A Secret at Tansy Falls started with Connie’s 49th birthday that her husband forgets, Connie feeling low and disappointed about it. Connie and Nate don’t have that easy partnership ever since Nate lost his job two years back which somehow drifted them apart and now they don’t talk enough, don’t feel the love for each other, and it’s awkward being in the same room. With each passing day, Connie is feeling distance between her and Nate and it doesn’t help with press trip she is organising at Covered Bridge Inn where she works as hotel manager, Nate hiding something, her father dating girl a decade younger than her, Nate not doing anything special on their anniversary and then there is their new lodger who stirs something within her.
It was interesting to see where things were going with her marriage, are her worries and doubts right, what she will do about it, what she is feeling is premenopausal or genuine, how the press trip weekend will go, and if she will give their marriage a second chance or move in life.
At first, it is hard not to compare A Secret at Tansy Falls with first book Inn at Tansy Falls which was one of my most favorite book in 2021. I didn’t fall in love with this from the very first page like I did with first book and no mention of characters from first book until 30% didn’t make it easy. But as story progressed, it was hard not to like this. I think a set of different expectations after the perfect beautiful first book might have affected my feeling for first half of the book but then I so much enjoyed the second half.
Connie remains at the center. She is lovely, cool and calm in every situation, always ready to help others and her experience from childhood with laidback parents and in hotel management made her a responsible person who can handle any situation. She is called capable Connie because of her nature and all things she did for herself and others. It was interesting to see problems piling in her life that soon makes her think she is far from capable to solve them.
Her worries and situation are heartfelt and relatable. It isn’t easy to run house alone with so much work at job, husband who isn’t finding new job, and might be losing interest in her. I can also understand why she felt appreciated by praises from other men. I don’t think she is naive for feeling special by attention and it awakening physical attraction. It is totally natural at her age with so much going on in her life and especially when she is feeling unloved.
I liked reading her thoughts, her conversations, monologues and epiphany. It was interesting how she realized what she wants in life and she needs to talk what she feels and deal with problems; how bottling feelings, keeping them unresolved or sweeping them under carpet and keep living life as it is don’t work well if she ever wants to be happy again.
We know Nate from Connie’s perspective so it is easy to be judgemental but at the same time, his lack of perspective and little conversations he has with Connie makes the story more interesting and I was curious to know what he really thinks and feels.
I enjoyed reading about Connie’s childhood, her eccentric father, her work life at Covered Bridge Inn and meeting new and old characters. It was great to see Piper and Spencer. They were such a lovely couple and I was so happy with their baby on the way. Frank, Connie’s neighbor with his menagerie of rescued animals was also fun. It was hilarious to read characters that arrived at press trip weekend. And Skye was lovely.
Best part of the story is second half when everything happens at once, press trip, crossroad of Connie’s marriage where she finally has to choose which way she wants to go, new feelings that came with her lodger, and all the revelations. I devoured each page and word in this part. The story picks up pace in double speed and it was refreshing to come out of that gloomy feel that clung to story with Connie’s problems and have some drama and entertainment that made me smile and laugh. I just wonder why this didn’t happen from the beginning.
I also loved the setting. It was great to read once more about places mentioned in first book. New places are also explored with all the activities they do during the press trip. I can see and feel the descriptions of Tansy Falls is different because of different perspectives and yet this story preserves the same charm and feel.
Climax is interesting with Nate’s decision with the job and new path opening for Connie with the lodger. I had an idea something is off but somehow I couldn’t predict that final twist as I kept thinking like Connie. I enjoyed reading what Connie did about it. It was great to read how press trip finally went and what Gridleys thought about it. End is lovely and just perfect. I feel so happy for Connie.
Why 4 stars-
This somehow didn’t make me fall in love with it as first book did. And I wished first half was just as engaging as the second half.
Overall, A Secret at Tansy Falls is charming, heartfelt, heartwarming and relatable women’s fiction with revisit to the most beautiful setting I recently read.
I definitely recommend this if you like,
have read first book and would love seeing the same setting from different perspective
theme of relationship issues
Layer of manipulation and exploitation
soap opera-like drama
Small town and community
Cate Woods made the most of her university degree in Anglo-Saxon Literature by embarking on a career making tea on programmes including The Big Breakfast, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and French & Saunders. After narrowly missing out on the chance to become a Channel 5 weather girl, she moved into the world of magazine journalism, then ghostwriting and now writes novels under her own name. She has written two best-selling romantic comedies – Just Haven’t Met You Yet and More Than a Feeling – and a festive novel, The Christmas Guest, under the name Daisy Bell. Cate lives in London with her husband and two children.
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