‘The Real World’ is the second book in Kathleen Jowitt’s Stancester series and was a joy to read. I purposely made myself slow down when reading it as I wanted to stay part of this world, of Stancester, for a while longer. There was something familiar and soothing about being with Colette and Lydia. I loved finding out more about their lives and the decisions they were having to make. This is a book about people, about communities, and just happens to involve those of various religious persuasions.

Lydia wants to become an ordained minister, but that is problematic as the Church of England will not allow gay clergy to marry. How will Lydia and Colette navigate that particular issue? Colette is part way through her PhD, and dealing with that is about as much as she can handle. How will she deal with being the partner of a vicar, if that were ever to happen? This is a book about realisation, about finding answers to the questions we all have. Sometimes it takes time to know exactly what we really want. It’s a book to savour. The writing is exquisite, and the characters have depth and realism. I loved it and hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Lydia, Colette and their friends. 

I was given this ARC to review.

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