Cover Image: Poppy's Recipe for Life

Poppy's Recipe for Life

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Member Reviews

I really loved this book. I have become a big fan of the author. It isn’t ground breaking fiction. But it has a great, well thought through story, and wonderfully drawn characters. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to her next one.
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Lovely story that keeps you involved from the beginning right through until the end. Definitely recommended to those readers who enjoy reading this genre.
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Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review.

This is set in the same place, Nightingale Square, as an earlier book but you don't need to have read the first one to enjoy this one as the stories are stand alone. I hadn't read the first book but intend to do so now.
The story is about friendship, family and most of all community. Reading the book I felt part of the community. 
An excellent read which I can highly recommend.
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Although I've had a Heidi Swain Christmas book on my bookcase for a while now my first taste of her writing was with Sunshine and Sweetpeas in Nightingale Square which I loved but oddly have never reviewed (it happens sometimes). As I'd loved that book, when I saw this one was coming out I was excited, especially as it's set in the same area, Nightingale Square. 

This time we follow Poppy who moves into the square in a bid to have a bit more of a settled life away from her family who she doesn't get on well with. Her mother is demanding and tries to guilt trip her every 5 minutes and her brother thinks she abandoned him when she moved out. Poppy's move into the square isn't without a bit of drama as she clashes with another newcomer, her neighbour Jacob who would rather be left alone to brood than be roped into the plans and festivities that the square's residents set up. As demonstrated in the previous Nightingale Square book, things do not go smoothly or according to plan, Poppy's brother moves in, Jacob's grumpy side continues to puzzle his neighbours who won't accept no for an answer and the weather (this being the UK) has an impact on the community garden. 

As I've already said this book can be read as a stand alone, there is enough, but not too much, background information given to enable the reader to gain an understanding of the square and it's residents.  

As someone who likes spending time alone I'm not sure how well I would cope with the enthusiastic residents of Nightingale Square. However, I do like reading about them and what they get up to. I loved reading Poppy's story, it was hopeful but also realistic in the way that she dealt with her concerns about her brother, settling into her new home and supporting her friends with their various hopes and dreams. She strikes me as the sort of person who would, nicely, not leave me alone if I was feeling down, but would also have me smiling away by the end of the day. This is a beautifully cosy read, it warms you up and makes you feel like everything is right with the world and all the bad things have miraculously been fixed. It doesn't shy away from serious issues but does give a good dose of escapism and leaves you with a warm glow any time you need to put the book down to do something else.  

As I've said I have a Christmas book by this author and I will be reading it this year, once the weather gets a bit colder. I'm also greatly looking forward to her next book, whether that is another Nightingale Square book or something else. It's been a pleasure watching the characters develop over the course of the story and it would be great to see where they go next but I'd be equally happy meeting new characters. Whatever the next book is I'm fairly certain it will be as much of a fabulous read as this one is.
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Heidi Swain is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. This book is a heartwarming story of community coming together. It has lovely characters who you would want to meet and live in Nightingale Square with. A really well written good read and I would definitely recommend it.
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Such a sheer joy to be back among the residents of Nightingale square. Some fabulous familiar faces but a whole new story.

Poppy after a false start that allowed us a glimpse into her family life,  us finally able to move into her dream home in Nightingale square. 

She wasn't counting on her next door neighbour to be incredibly grumpy and rude,  not that before long that she would have her estranged brother living with her. 

I loved seeing how both these men in her life developed as the story went on,  and also reading every last detail of life in the square.

Heidi Swain has such a familiar and comfortable writing style, that you can't help but be sucked into the pages of this fabulous story. 

I loved the sense of community in this book as everyone rallies around each other.  There is also an adorable dog,  a fantastic sounding bookshop,  new relationships, some secrets, and a whole lot of preserves and chutneys.

I couldn't help but fly through the pages,  while enjoying every last moment.  I just couldn't get enough of it all. 

Another immensely enjoyable story from the talented Heidi Swain.

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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I adore Heidi Swain's as a story teller, she has this way with words that draws her readers in. 
This story as an amazing cast of characters that you really feel for going through emotions as they do. A great plot.
A brilliant read.
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I enjoyed reading about the antics and dramas surrounding Nightingale square and it’s residents. I instantly fell in love with Poppy and felt like I had fallen into her world too. You are transported into the square where you soon feel as though you are among friends. Reading this book was a joy, as are all Heidi’s books. 
Thanks to Netgalley and Heidi Swain for the e book copy.
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Life in Nightingale Square welcomes you in and I loved all the characters I met there. None more so than Poppy who has a great heart. She seems drawn to anyone who needs support and her relationship with her brother is relatable as she never comes across as thinking she has all the answers. You get to see how the community can gather around a central cause. This is the sort of story which puts a smile on your face and makes you wish you could visit the Square.

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of the book.
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This is the second book set in Nightingale Square, but can be read as a standalone novel. However, I 
would recommend reading Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square first. Both are fantastic books and I really enjoyed them. 

Nightingale Square is such a gorgeous setting with such a sense of community spirit - I would love to live here. A fantastic assortment of characters, it was lovely to catch up with characters from the previous book and to meet and get to know new characters too.  I loved Poppy from the start and really empathised with her. 

Beautifully written, I highly recommend this book. I can't wait for Heidi's next book and hope to be back in Nightingale Square soon.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I am always super excited when a new Heidi Swain book comes out! They always have a feel-good factor and just bring sunshine to my little world. Poppy's story is no exception. Lots of laughs, great characters and an idyllic setting made this a fabulous summer read. I adored every single second I spent in Poppy's presence.
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This is such a wonderful addition to the Nightingale Square titles and a complete sleep stealer! If only Nightingale Square existed, I'd move in tomorrow. It such a lovely setting, with a wonderful assortment of characters. Poppy's story as she rebuilds her relationship with her brother and finds her own happiness is unputdownable and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with all the other characters too. Definitely one to be put on your TBR list, I defy you not to finish it with a smile on your face.
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This is the second book about nightingale square, Norwich and involves Poppy renting Kate’s house ( the main character in the first book) 
All the peripheral characters in the first book appeared in the second bookLisa, Luke, the fabulous Heather as well as some newbies
Drawn together by the community garden Grow- Well the book also branches out into the town , to Colin’s bookshop, the greengrocers were Poppy works and Lou’s shop
The story revolves round Poppy and her grumpy neighbour Jacob and her efforts to involve him in the community garden. Add into the mix Poppy’s younger half brother Ryan (16) and the efforts by Poppy to build a relationship with him and give him some grown up values  and you have an  extremely interesting novel!
The characters are believable! The story line is strong with many different twists and turns. You have to keep reading!  This is another fantastic book by Heidi Swain, this is a stand alone book but it is well worth reading the other book in the series”Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale square “ first to give you the insights into the residents stories and enhance the reading experience 
Thank you to Netgalley, Simon and Schuster and Heidi Swain for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review
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I can't even tell you how much I loved this book. I started it one evening and got up early the following day, just so that I could finish it.

Poppy has a troubled family background. Her mother doesn't have a maternal bone in her body and Poppy has become distant from her younger brother Ryan. When she receives a phone call to say that her mother is going away to Spain, she feels she has to invite Ryan to stay with her in Nightingale Square.

Meanwhile, Poppy has recently met a handsome but very grumpy new neighbour. She sets out to welcome Jacob by introducing him to the community garden where residents gather to grow there own produce. At first, he refuses, but slowly he finds himself thoroughly integrated into the friendly, tight-knit community.

Poppy has a tough time getting to know Ryan but luckily teacher Jacob is eager to help to build bridges. When they finally sit down to talk a different relationship starts to develop between the siblings.

The sense of community in this book is enchanting but what stood out for me was the way that Heidi Swain portrays teenagers. I don't think young people are given a fair chance and she showed that there may be reasons behind irresponsible behaviour. With a little help and encouragement, troubled teens can bring an inspiring, fresh approach and I loved to see  Ryan's transition.

There is romance too, new relationships are slow burning and the type that turn out to last a lifetime. Break down in communications feature heavily here too and seem to be a feature of the book.

This is a perfect summer read, character driven with personalities you could meet in any village pub....honest, believable, funny and warm. It was an absolute pleasure from start to finish and I thank NetGalley for the chance to read and review Poppy's Recipe For Life.
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I loved Poppy from the beginning and empathised with how her life must have been for her with a mother who is missing the maternal gene which also impacts on her relationship with her brother Ryan. In fact, I very quickly became emotionally attached with all the characters in this community. I suffered their setbacks alongside them and joined in with their happiness too. I wanted to be a part of this genuine community who looked out for each other and accepted each other for who they are. I must admit I was sad when the story ended.

Romance didn’t take centre stage for me. Yes there is attraction and conflict and secrets, but Poppy’s Recipe for Life is more about the relationships the characters have with each other and how newcomers are welcomed as well as how they work together when there’s conflict. I loved watching Poppy’s relationship develop with Ryan. It’s so easy to give teens a label especially when you take into account role models …

Poppy’s Recipe Life is a heart-warming story that will give you all the feels. The theme that came across to me is sacrifice. And how even though it may not feel right at the time, it does work out and you reap the rewards tenfold. A recommended read from me.
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Poppy’s Recipe for Life is the second of Heidi Swain’s books to be set in Nightingale Square. We revisited characters from the previous book and met some new ones – there was a nice balance between the two. There were also some new settings in the book – one or two of which I wonder if we’ll see again in a future book? I’d love it if that were the case!

Not long after starting this book I was sure I had spotted a really obvious twist and I knew what was going to happen. However I kept reading and it turns out I was completely wrong – part of what I thought was going to happen did but not everything I expected and what I had seen coming was handled differently and turned out completely the opposite to what I thought was obvious. I should have known that a Heidi Swain book wouldn’t contain the boring and predictable!

Although I liked all of the characters, I really liked the character of Ryan, Poppy’s younger brother. He’s late teens and I don’t think I’ve read many books with a character like that so well handled.

As is always the case with a Heidi Swain book, Poppy’s Recipe for Life was really enjoyable and I’d recommend it for anyone who wants some escapist fun reading.
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My Thoughts: this is the first time I’ve read a story by Heidi Swain and it was an absolute delight!

Poppy has plans to move into her dream home on Nightingale Square and nearly has everything packed when just one phone call from her mum derails everything. She has to give the money she’d saved up for the deposit to help with her brother.

In a surprising turn of events a couple of months later the landlord of the house she was supposed to move into tracks her down at work and tells her that the tenants she had in were a nightmare, they’ve left and she would love Poppy to move so she knows the house is being looked after.

With the house comes access to the community garden and poppy is looking forward to being able to use the spoils in her homemade chutneys and pickles.

She’s just starting to settle in when her 16 year old brother Ryan comes to stay with her and throws everything off completely, how do you look after a teenager when you’re used to living on your own?

This is a beautiful story about love, the romantic mind, the sibling kind and the friendship kind.

It shows what a community can achieve when they pull together and why you should never jump to conclusions and judge someone on their past actions.
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Another complete hit from Heidi Swain! As usual, the book is beautifully written and draws you into the characters lives perfectly. I can't wait for her next book!
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What shines brightly off the pages of this story is the overwhelming sense of community spirit. Nightingale Square is a beacon of hope and love for its residents, with a deep healing power that emits from each and every corner to improve the lives of all of its dwellers. The writing is warm and welcoming and the narrative pulled me into its embrace like an old certainly was a joy to behold.

Poppy is a dream of a character who is bursting to the brim with pure sunshine. Her outlook on life is something to be admired and she was the perfect creation to stand centre stage in this story. The remaining residents residing in the square were resplendent in all their eccentricities and it was an honour to spend time in their presence. Together they created a picture perfect performance in all its communal glory and it was a pure pleasure to witness the story play out on the pages before my eyes.

The narrative speaks of a small community coming together with a fierce and strong passion to grow and sustain lives in more ways than one. In working together to care and cultivate the community garden they succeed in strengthening and thriving the lives of all in the square. A strong bond bursts off the pages in an inspirational fashion to lift this story up to a level that is both special and unforgettable.

Poppy's Recipe for Life does exactly what it says on the's a successful set of instructions on how to strive to live your best life. I loved each and every moment of my time spent in Nightingale Square and I hope that I will get to return to this gorgeous pocket of the world in the near future.
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Poppy dreams of living in Nightingale Square and becoming part of the community garden there while cooking up chutneys in the kitchen. Finally Poppy has the chance to rent a house in the square but things start to get complicated, firstly with her grumpy next door neighbour and then her brother moving in with her. 

A delightful heartfelt book that will have you laughing and crying as you follow the ups and downs of Poppy and the residents of Nightingale Square.
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