Friday, May 9, 2014

*[Blog Tour Review] Casting the Net (The Dunbridge Chronicles #2) by Pam Rhodes

Casting the Net

Heart-warming English comedy of manners, featuring the trials and tribulations of newly ordained minister, Neil FisherIn part two of the Dunbridge Chronicles, Neil Fisher returns from ordination inspired by his sense of ministry, but determined to distance himself from the two ladies in his life. This is not altogether well received, and a wide segment of the congregation of St Stephen's, Dunbridge--including the music group--points Neil to the error of his ways.

Meanwhile Neil's close friend Colin and his wife Jeannie are delighted by the birth of a daughter, but is all well with the baby? Neil's mother Iris continues to meddle, to his irritation. Churchwarden Peter has said a relieved farewell to his flighty wife Glenda--or has he? Dunbridge is not as peaceful as it seems.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 265 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: March 17th 2014 by Lion Fiction
When I signed up for this tour I did so thinking that this was a cozy mystery, so when I started reading it I was surprised to find that it was a contemporary Christian fiction novel instead, which worried me because I'm not religious and I wasn't sure how preachy this one would be, so it came as a huge surprised to find out that it wasn't preachy in the least but I that I also really enjoyed it.
I had read some pretty heavy books before I picked Casting the Net Up and this one acted as a bit of a palate cleanser for me because it was just such an easy, feel good funny read that didn't in anyway force religion on me as a reader and focused more on the characters and the story (with a little religion thrown in) but mostly on the relationships of everyone in the small village town of Dunbridge in rural England.
I really liked Neil, he's such a sweet guy and he's still so young and nervous about his role in the vicarage that he comes across as really endearing. He's just one of those guys that you want to stop and have a chat with and be friends with because he's so kind, caring and approachable plus he's actually quite funny. I was surprised by how much I liked him but there I was at the end of the book feeling quite sad that my time in his company had come to an end, but feeling as though I left him in a much better place than he was after about halfway through the book when tragedy struck twice in the tiny town involving people close to his heart.
I thought it was very refreshing that the author decided to write a novel from the male perspective, often times I see women writers (not all of course but a majority) that use women in their novels as their main characters especially in small town settings. I thought the way she wrote Neil was fantastic, right down to his exasperation when it came to dealing with his over bearing mother.
Neil wasn't the only well written character in the book though, I thought the whole cast was lovely even the characters that I didn't care for, such as Neil's horrible ex-girlfriend Wendy. She was a witch and was only thinking of how wonderful it would be to be a Vicar's wife. I didn't like her personality and I really hope she get's her comeuppance in the next book in the series.
Overall, I thought that this was a really well written book. As light hearted as it was, there was also tragedy and sadness and death in the novel as well which gave the characters a more human slant because I was able to see them in happy times and sad times but also saw the strength that they took not only from the Church but took the majority of strength from their friends in family in the community. The book just left me feeling good, because I could see things were finally on the mend.
I would recommend Casting the Net to everyone. As a non-religious person I can tell you that this one isn't in your face about religion at all and I think it offers a cute little glimpse of life in rural England to the reader that will have you laughing often and wishing you could move to a small town.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.

Loved It!
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  1. This sounds like an interesting read. I like the focusing of different characters in a village. It's appealing how a nonreligious reader was comfortable with Christian fiction. Reminds me of when I had read Stones for Bread.

    1. That one sounds like a good read Kepanie, and your right the book really opens itself up to a wider audience because it doesn't make the reader uncomfortable by touting religion too much.

  2. Interesting the male is the main character which is different. Very good review

  3. Oh wow yeah I would have definitely thought cozy mystery too. Love that you get it from the hero's side. I always enjoy those.

    1. Glad I'm not the only one who thought that based on the description :)

  4. I appreciate the clarity and originality you bring to your writing


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