Wellies and Westies is the debut novella from the very lovely Cressida McLaughlin. I have been eagerly awaiting this gorgeous book and was so very happy when I had the chance to download a copy from NetGalley onto my kindle.
I have to start by first sharing my disappointment with the whole idea of having a ‘series’ of novellas which form a whole novel. This isn’t a criticism of the book at all, just a little annoyance with the way we are ‘drip-fed’ the book. Like a lot of people, I am a very voracious reader and often get through a good few books a week. I love to be able to start and finish a book in one go but these novellas always prove tricky for me. The first installment is always a fantastic start but by the time I get to the next part, I will have inevitably forgotten who was who and what was going on, purely because I’ve read so many other stories in between the two ‘parts’ of a series. I wish publishers wouldn’t publish books like this as it really interrupts the flow of a story – having to stop-start constantly just makes it a bit of a pain to read! But, hey-ho, if people like it that way!
Anyway, sorry about that little rant – it has no baring on my enjoyment of this book at all, in fact I wish I had all of the novellas in one go as I loved this first one too much to have to put it down and wait ages for the next one! Arghhhh please publishers, it is TORTURE! (And makes it super hard to review!)
Wellies and Westies tells the story of the slightly lost Cat, who, after losing her job when she brings a puppy into work, is at a dead end and is unsure of where to go and what to do with her life. It isn’t until her flatmates spark an idea about dog-walking that she starts to get a brainwave… Pooch Promenade is born! A brand new dog-walking business serving the residents of Primrose Terrace and their four-legged companions.
Throughout the novella we meet a whole cast of characters who each have their own story to tell. There’s the rather swanky author who lives with her two dogs, the mystery man who keeps bumping into her on her walks, the flatmate who is seems to be sitting on a big secret and the best friend Polly.
And, of course, the main stars of the show – the dogs! They totally stole the show with their cuteness and provided some rather humorous moments for the characters.
I really warmed to Cressida’s writing style during Wellies and Westies. It was like a warm hug coming from the pages and wrapping you up as you read the story, nothing felt forced or cliched and it flowed perfectly. As I mentioned before, I just wish I had more than 97 pages to read – I wanted the whole thing all in one go! I look forward to June when Sunshine and Spaniels will continue the story of Cat and her dog walking escapades. I can’t wait to find out what happens next and to see what kind of journey the characters will end up going on.