REVIEW: 'Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow' by Jessica Redland
Updated: May 8, 2021
Anyone who knows me knows that I love hedgehogs. Every Christmas and birthday I get a litany of hedgehog themed gifts—it's a whole thing. So was it really any surprise that when I saw this in my Kindle recs I immediately picked it up? No, not at all.
Sam Wishaw is a woman who without fail, will always put herself last. She lets the man she thinks is the love of her life go, so that he can marry her cousin. She lets her mother walk all over her, in a desperate attempt to win her love. She lets her cousin Chloe have whatever she wants, because Chloe's insecure (and, in my opinion, a bit of a brat).
And then she accidentally saves the life of Thomas, an elderly widower who resolutely does not want to be saved. As a nurse with a serious case of bleeding heart syndrome, Sam can't let that go, and manages to worm her way under his skin. Ultimately, this is what's at the heart of the story—the relationship between Thomas and Sam is what gives her a home, and stable ground to start standing up for herself.
Though the title is 'Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow', Sam's love interest doesn't show up until quite a way in. And, honestly, I don't think it's really about romantic love. It's more about Sam learning to love herself, and valuing the people who love her exactly as she is rather than chasing those who honestly don't really care.
It's a sweet, heartwarming story, about setting boundaries, valuing your own self-worth—and rescuing hedgehogs, of course! It was an absolute joy to read; Redland's a skilled writer who creates beautifully developed characters and gorgeously enriched settings. I loved reading about Sam's new friendships as much as I did her developing relationship with Josh, the grumpy vet, and the slowly unfolding realisation that Thomas and his late wife Gwendoline had been a part of Sam's life since she was tiny.
Final verdict: A delightfully sweet read, thoroughly recommended. 🍯🍯🍯🍯🍯/5 honeypots!