Why Moonshine By Christina Jones is my favourite book...

They are not quite back yet, but there is hope. Libraries in West Sussex have started a phased reintroduction of services with a Select and Collect option from the front doors of all 36 library buildings

Hannah Relfe - My Favourite Book
Hannah Relfe - My Favourite Book

However, until the libraries reopen fully, we are staying in touch with our county librarians by asking them about their favourite books. This week Hannah Relfe, senior library assistant Haywards Heath, tells us why Moonshine By Christina Jones is her choice:

“The book follows the story of Cleo Moon, a young woman who moves to the rustic hamlet of Lover Knot after leaving her old life in Winterbrook. Here she gets the job as PA to a local millionaire and has the difficult task of organising the harvest festival. To enter the harvest festival you must take something homemade. To Cleo’s delight she stumbles across an old winemaking book, so decides to give it a go. What could possibly go wrong! Cleo thinks she has created a wonderful new tipple, but to her horror the whole village seem to have the strangest side effects, possibly due to its magical powers. Not only does she have to deal with the highs of the harvest festival but also the lows of her past life. One person that is sure to make her smile is the particularly beautiful Dylan, having been discovered on her doorstep slightly worse for wear…

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“I first read this book when I was in my early 20s in the summertime sitting in the garden. It was by chance that I discovered it. Having read authors like Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson, I had seen it in the book shop in a similar section. I’m a sucker for a pretty front cover, so of course this ticked a box. Having read the back of the book, it went straight into my basket.

“It made an impact because it completely transported me to a feel-good place. Christina Jones’s writing reminded me of an H E Bates novel. Her description of the countryside and the beautiful English summers made me think of The Darling Buds of May. The lush village greens with the cricket matches and the small chocolate box cottages. It’s the sort of book that makes you feel warm inside, complete escapism. It will make you laugh and possibly bring a tear to your eye with the eccentric characters that Christina writes about.

“I’ve only read the book a couple of times, but it just always takes me back to sitting in the garden in the summertime – the warm weather and that good feeling inside. For me I love a book with a romantic ending and this book will deliver.

“Since reading Moonshine, I have read almost all of Christina Jones’s novels. She has cleverly linked all her books by setting them in a hamlet of villages and mentioning who lives in each. There is Mitzi Blessing from Hazy Hassocks and Sukie Ambrose from Pixies laughter, not forgetting Fiddlesticks and Bagley-cum-Russet.

“This book is still my favourite of all her titles. I truly believe that books leave a print on you, whether that’s books you read at school or at particular time in your life. My tastes seem to change depending on my mood. Sometimes I want to read a good murder mystery and other times it’s a slush romance. There hasn’t been a film or television version of this book but I would love there to be. We haven’t seemed to have a good old British romcom in years and this story would tick all the boxes, from the eccentric characters to the handsome love interest. I’ve recommended this book to a few of my friends who read similar things. One of them read Moonshine and went on to read all the rest like me. It was nice to have a little discussion about them and who our favourite characters were. This book is a light-hearted magical tale that is sure to make you smile. Give it a go!”


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