Today I’d like to introduce you to Georgia Hill, author of a While I was Waiting, a unique novel which combines contemporary and historical romance set in the English countryside.
Genre: Historical/time-slip romance
Release Date: 2/7/15 (e-pub) 10/9/15 (print)
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Tired of her life in London, freelance illustrator Rachel buys the beautiful but dilapidated Clematis Cottage and sets about creating the home of her dreams. But tucked away behind the water tank in the attic and left to gather dust for decades, is an old biscuit tin containing letters, postcards and a diary. So much more than old scraps of paper, these are precious memories that tell the story of Henrietta Trenchard-Lewis, a love lost in the Great War and the girl who was left behind.
While I was Waiting combines sweet, contemporary romance as well as historical fiction, revealed through letters and a memoir written by the previous, deceased owner of Clematis Cottage, where our main character, Rachel, is now living.
After moving away from London to Herefordshire, Rachel, an illustrator, moves to rural England, and finds romance in Gabe, a local builder’s son, who is working on her run down cottage. At the same time, she becomes obsessed with Hetti’s incomplete story, which she aims to discover.
Rachel has many personal issues such as lack of trust, insecurity, and a controlling and sometimes obsessive personality, which make it difficult for her to make lasting relationships with men. Gabe has problems of his own, which he’s not willing to share either, so their relationship will have a few ups and downs. It’s a HEA, so they manage to sort it out in the end, with the help of a puppy called Piglet, time, and sharing their real feelings.
I liked the way the author was able to give the reader a feeling for life in a small rural village, from an idyllic, as well as a realistic perspective, as the residents have to cope with the devastating impact of Foot and Mouth disease.
It’s not only a sweet romance, the novel also delves the reader into the trauma and suffering caused by the First World War, and the way cancer affects a family.
The secondary characters, the Estate Agent, the Vicar, Gabe’s parents, Stan and the locals at the pub, etc. are believable, added to the plot, and made the story more varied and interesting.
It was pleasant and easy to read, and had a very English feel to it. Especially for lovers of sweet romance.
ABOUT GEORGIA HILL
I used to live in London, where I worked in the theatre. Then I got the bizarre job of teaching road safety to the U.S. navy – in Marble Arch!
A few years ago, I did an ‘Escape to the Country’. I now live in a tiny Herefordshire village, where I scandalise the neighbours by not keeping ‘country hours’ and being unable to make a decent pot of plum jam. Home is a converted Oast house (Old agricultural building used for drying hops), which I share with my two beloved spaniels, husband (also beloved) and a ghost called Zoe.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel widely, though prefer to set my novels closer to home. Perhaps more research is needed? I’ve always wanted to base a book in the Caribbean!
I am addicted to Belgian chocolate, Jane Austen and, most of all, Strictly Come Dancing.
Lovely to have you on my blog today, Georgia.
It was a pleasure to read and review your novel for Brook Cottage Books, and learn more about you.