Book Review: SUNSHINE AND SWEETPEAS IN NIGHTINGALE SQUARE by Heidi Swain @Heidi_Swain @simonschusteruk @harriett_col

Sunshine and SweetpeaPublication: 31st May 2018 by Simon & Schuster UK

The heart-warming new novel from the Sunday Timesbestselling author, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Milly Johnson and Cathy Bramley

Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide… a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don’t take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour.

Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around!

Heidi Swain is the perfect summer read – you’ll want to find your own green space, stretch out in the sun and dive into life at Nightingale Square.


Let me just say that, despite the long length of the book (more than 400 pages), I read this heartwarming and engrossing novel in two days. I found the characters realistic and likable and I was completely immersed in their stories and their lives. I was also fascinated by the history surrounding Nightingale Square and the families who used to live there and, along with Kate, I enjoyed to find out more.

The main protagonist of the novel is Kate. She believes in one true love. She believes that people can give their heart to just one person during their lifetime, so when her marriage to David ends under terrible circumstances but ‘amicably’ (in her own words), she decides to leave her life in London and her job to start a new and lonely life in Norwich. She has found the perfect house in Nightingale Square and she believes she will be happy there on her own. But, she has barely the time to open her first box, that a neighbour is already knocking on her door and barging in. Soon, Kate forgets about her desire to be alone and she finds herself surrounded by her neighbours, who soon turns into friends, and then her family. There is mother-of-three Lisa who, in her bossy way, quickly takes Kate under her wing. Then there is new mom Heather who is struggling with motherhood. Nosy Carole who knows everything that goes on in the neighbourhood, and elderly Harold, who knows the history of the square and the family who used to own Prosperous Place, the large mansion by it. Also, the arrival of mysterious Luke maybe will give Kate the chance to change her mind about having just one love in her life.

The characters and their sense of community really come to life under Heidi Swain’s pen and I really enjoyed getting to know them, page after page. The setting seems idyllic, away from the noise of the city and surrounded by gardens, and it is very evocative and atmospheric.

The engaging characters, the beautiful setting, the entertaining stories, the brilliant and flawless writing create a refreshing and unique story that I couldn’t put down and I’d like to thanks Simon and Schuster UK and Harriet Collins for providing me with a copy of the book.



Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times bestselling author of five novels: The Cherry Tree Cafe, Summer at Skylark Farm, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage  and most recently, Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and two teenage children. Follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain or visit her website:

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