How exactly I came across "Coppitts Green" by Nicola Thorne I can't remember - was it during one of my downloading spree of free ebooks with the search term "Yorkshire" on Amazon's Kindle shop, or did one of my blogging friends (maybe Monica) post a review on their blog? Anyway, I am really glad I found it, as it was a book I have greatly enjoyed.
The author has her own website here, where you can find out more about her. With so much published work under her belt, I was surprised that apparently I had never read anything by her before.
Coppitts Green is (surprise, surprise) set in Yorkshire, in a village in the Skipton area. The village itself and the surrounding dales landscape is beautifully portrayed, as are the story's cast; some in more detail than others, but my mental cinema was certainly working throughout.
A young woman comes to work as the new infants teacher at the village school, upon invitation of her boyfriend whose family own one of the large, old houses there. When she arrives at Leeds station where he is to meet her, he does not turn up, and neither does he meet her at the village. The house is empty but for the housekeeper, who tells her that the other two inhabitants, the boyfriend's cousins, are away for a few days.
During that first night on her own, Jocasta feels uneasy in the rambling old house but puts it all down to nerves. For the next weeks, her new job (which she loves) takes up all her attention and energy, but with her boyfriend having seemingly vanished and his cousins not providing credible answers, the young woman begins to investigate...
It is all very well written, and quite the page-turner! I did have an incling of what had happened, but not in detail, and certainly could not predict the events in the family's past that come to light, or how the romance part of the story was going to pan out.
Also, it was nice to read about the work at a village school back in the days (we are talking the early 1960s there, I think), and the foreword by the author, written when she re-published her long out of print book as an ebook, is interesting, too.