by Pam Rhodes Lion Fiction, paperback, £7.99
A third visit to Dunbridge – the imaginary village invented by Pam Rhodes, of Songs of Praise fame – is as entertaining as its predecessors.
With laughter and tears interspersing its pages, it continues the heartening life of the curate, Neil Fisher, now solely in charge of the parish.
With no clerical help immediately to hand, his love for divorced Claire has a tough time as her former husband reappears from New Zealand to see his son, which heralds difficult decisions all round.
If that wasn’t enough, there is the usual complex parish cast to add to the confusion of village life with its frictions, fighting, family traumas, existing alongside those offering care and comfort.
All the experiences of parish personalities are here as Pam packs her fictional pages with real-life experiences. There is nothing like a church family, and the hangers-on, to create drama and interest which aptly reflects real life.
A joy to read, but, hopefully, not long to the next one with curate Neil called to a new parish. Whether or not he accepts the call, you will need to find by reading this book. I shan’t give a way the secret.