What do readers think?

"This is a delightful follow-up to the first book (The Nut Shop). The characters are curious and amusing. I loved the bit of suspense and laughed out loud at it - but I won't spoil it for you!"

MAGGIE V 12/01/17 


"Me and my partner read Gathering Nuts - as we did its prequel, The Nut Shop - out loud together over our morning coffee in our Bongo campervan on our travels. It was just like meeting a dear old friend again. A very comforting and comfortable experience as we caught up with what had happened to Lorraine, Nadine and other familiar characters since The Nut Shop.

The writing of Gathering Nuts, like The Nut Shop, reads out loud so well, there are two great audio books waiting to be produced or at least a good radio series." 



"This being her second book, roll on number three!'



"Many laugh out loud moments once again in this down to earth insightful book. It's one of those books you don't want to end and then sadly, it did.

SUSAN DODD 16/01/16 


I really enjoyed the sequel to The Nut Shop. I read it while in a cottage in the woods which just seemed appropriate given its health and nature foundations. It's a good 'local' story set in the North East. I really hope there is a third!"

 DAVID CLOSE 02/01/16 


"I bought this for my wife because we both enjoyed the previous one. She is only half way through it and finding it just as good."



"This book is an enjoyable read and is as good as the first book. This lady has talent - more please." 



"Gathering Nuts is the sequel to The Nut Shop which I read earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed. Christine and her sister Lorraine continue to run their health food shop and along the way there are laugh out loud moments as well as sad instances. It is a very well written book with a good balance of comedy and serious scenes. The characters in the book all have their own little ways and all bring something different to the story. You won't be able to put this book down once you start. I am already looking forward to book number three."

AUDREY Mc 16/11/15


"Excellent! I couldn't put it down until I'd finished reading it all. I laughed and cried and cried laughing. I felt like I was there in the shop. Gathering Nuts picks up from where The Nut Shop ends and if you haven't read it, it's a must read."

PAM BELL 10/11/15  


"A fabulous read - really enjoyed this book."

LYNN BAILLIE 23/07/15 


"A great read and funny from beginning to end! I couldn't put this book down and would really recommend this book to anyone."

ANJA HANNAH 09/07/15 


"This is a brilliant book both witty and warm. I am usually fussy with books if they don't hold my attention from the start. This book did that, I found it impossible to put down. It is a real feel-good book, a must-read!"

T LORD 07/07/15 


"What a fantastic book, I found it impossible to put down, it's written so well. Fantastic author and feel-good book."

W. BAINBRIDGE 06/07/15


"A light hearted look at life in my own home town, written with elements of humour and sincerity. A definite page turner!"

AGNES 05/07/15 


"Hard to put down! As the mother of a very active toddler I find it hard to get a chance to sit down and read but I found myself making excuses to put chores to one side so I could carry on reading this book. Once I had finished one chapter I couldn't help but turn the page to another. Such a down to earth easy read which lends itself to a wide audience. I would thoroughly recommend it."

M. DOYLE 05/07/15 


"Very funny book, well worth a read!"

JAN WAITE 17/03/15 


"My best friend recommended this book and I'm glad she did! I really enjoyed reading this book. I found it to be a fantastic, funny, warm story set in north east England."

N. SWEENEY 17/03/15 


"What a funny and heart warming story that made me giggle. By the end I felt like I knew all the characters personally. Couldn't put it down so I would highly recommend!"



"A laugh out loud book which I read on holiday. The characters draw you into their world and you begin to feel like you are living in their space. Great book, couldn't put it down."

SUSAN DODD 09/03/15 


 "Oh what a brilliant book - it follows two sisters, Christine and Lorraine as they open their Health Food shop. I found myself laughing out loud whilst reading it on the bus on the way to work! There's lots of highs and lows in the story and lots of wonderful characters who frequent the shop. I loved it especially because it's set in the north east of England where I live. I really hope there is a sequel to the book. An excellent read- well done Christine."

AUDREY 28/01/15 


"This funny, heartwarming tales unfolds a real story of two sisters in the health food business, working their way through the good times and the bad with friends, family and neighbours. The author has cleverly mixed comedy and serious scenes in the book, which makes it a balanced, wonderful read."  

LALANI JAY 16/11/14


"This book is a great read and I loved every page. With something interesting and exciting in every chapter, along with warm and relatable characters, it is impossible to stop reading."

S. FAWCETT 28/10/14


"A truly charming book following events surrounding The Nut Shop in the run up to Christmas. The characters are wonderfully realised with distinct personalities, the sense of humour is great throughout. I loved every minute and highly recommend this book."

R.D. HALE 26/09/14


"Reading The Nut Shop was like eating a luscious fruit. I took a bite and slowly the most delicious textures and flavours flowed out..."

J. DOUGLASS 05/09/14


"I found it impossible to write this review of Christine's book without using an L word as its a lovely, light read full of love and laughter.

The plot and its characters are revealed and developed at a steady pace as we follow their mixed fortunes, with the health food shop playing the central role from Christine's original idea to its first Christmas. On the wasy we are introduced to a host of loveable personalities; from Christine with list-making, to joint owner and her love-seeking sister Lorraine to Nige the gay postman, every ready with advice but little action, with all manner of customers and suppliers inbetween.

The Nut Shop is a very human story about neighbours, friends and family and how they work together through the shop's good times and bad times. It is a joy to read out loud. With at least a smile, if not a laugh on nearly every page, even through the bad times the love at the heart of the book shines through.

If you are looking for a book to bring a smile to your face and restore your faith in the fundamental goodness to be found in any community founded on the love between friends, family and neighbours then without hesitation I recommend The Nut Shop to you."



"Really enjoyed this book, it made me laugh out loud. Looking forward to the next."



"The Nut Shop saved me from the world cup! Loved it! Even my football mad hubby asked me why I was laughing so much (think he missed a goal-whoops!)."

JULIE 29/07/14


"Thoroughly enjoyed this book, it made me laugh and cry and by the end I felt as if I knew the characters personally. I would definitely recommend this to everyone! All that's left to do now is wait for a sequel."



"Loved reading this book, laugh out loud humour with a dryness that will keep you hooked and entertained. Well written with a lovely sense of familiarity."

HEATHER 18/06/14


"Excellent book, would recommend it, a good read.."



"Lounging by the pool in a hill-top villa in the Costa Del Sol, I began to read one of the most hilarious books that you could imagine. Funny thing is, the book is based on fact and life can often be like that.

If you want a really good read with lots of laughs, do yourself a favour and get a copy of this book. It ought to be made into a film - Julie Walters would be brilliant!"

MOGNESS 14/12/14



"A great book with a funny heart-warming story and some lovely characters. Hope I don't have to wait too long for the sequel!"

JEN W 09/09/13


"A funny and fabulous book which I read in one sitting. Move over James Herriot - Christine has taken your crown!"

STEPHANIE 02/09/13



"Thoroughly enjoyed reading The Nut Shop. It is a very funny insight to setting up and owning a business, often having me laughing aloud. The story left me wanting to know what happened next and I hope there will be a sequel."

HAYLEY 25/06/13


"The Nut Shop is well written, it made me laugh and really got me from page 1. A real feel good story."

W ELLISON 28/02/13



"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and have been left hoping there will be a sequel to this fantastic novel by this Newcastle author. Expertly described with lots of laugh out loud moments which actually had tears running down my face. It's a hoot, treat yourself - I couldn't put it down!"

JULES 24/02/13


"This book was most enjoyable. Easy to read and very interesting. I found it hard to put down even though my eyes were going and sleep was calling."

M.M 17/02/13


"A fantastic light-hearted, funny read. I couldn't put it down once I'd started reading it."



"Awesome book! One of the funniest I've read."

J.O.M 07/02/13


"I found this book to be funny and entertaining, was hard to put down once I'd started. Quirky, fun novel.Would love to meet these characters in person! Hope there will be a sequel as the ending left you wanting more."

BIFF 03/02/13


"I really like this book set in the North East. Really funny read, I read this in two sittings which is a first for me. I think the fact it's a true story shows in how much you can visualise the characters. A great read."

DAVID CLOSE 12/01/13


"What a marvellously funny, warm, real story. I found myself ignoring the ironing and housework to read it! A highly recommended read."



"Really enjoyed this book, well written and and very funny. Loved the trials and tribulations that the sisters managed to work their way through. Very funny book - great comedy read."



"Great read, could hardly put my iPod down. every time I had a spare minute I read a page or two. Just waiting for the sequel now."

McCORMICK 07/12/13


"Read this in a couple of hours. Could not put my phone down until I'd finished reading. Brilliant!"

PAM B 07/11/13


"A charming, witty and warming book. Once I'd started it was impossible to put down. Thought provoking mixed with laugh out loud funny! The story lines are excellent and they make the reader want to read on. An insighful and funny look at family, relationships and East End Newcastle life!"

E REED 15/10/12


"If you liked Maeve Binchy then this is for you. A great book with a definite feel good factor to it. Funny in places but thought provoking at times. I can thoroughly recommend if you want to read about real people with a sense of humour and the determination to succeed.

MAGGIE V 14/10/12


"An amazing book full of loveable characters and a series of hilarious situations that make this book impossible to put down. Would recommend to anyone who loves a comedy!"

A.K. 14/10/12


"Thanks for letting me read The Nut Shop - I really enjoyed it, not least of course because I had no idea of what running that shop was actually like - and what an intense, memorable year it clearly was! I imagine it must be fascinating for Rose and Anna to look back on - especially as Rose was about to make her entrance!

The writing/genre is very different from the kind of stuff I normally read (fiction/drama/poetry), but I hope you don't mind me listing some of the things I particularly liked about it? Apologies if it's a bit technical - you can take the English Lit teacher out of the classroom, but...blah,blah!

  • I really liked the comedy set pieces - you have quite a knack at voice and detail and pacing. My favourites were Muriel's Slogans & Punchline (Ch.21), The Farting Woman (Ch.24) and Getting the Fridge Stuck in the Doorway (Ch.25)
  • I liked the dialogue generally, and especially when it felt a bit like a sit-com (things going wrong and 'testing the team') - have you ever written a sit-com?
  • I guess dialogue needs believable characters and the ways you and Lorraine contrasted and complemented each other were fascinating (and true?). I though Nadine and Georgina were also effective 'characters' - and Peter added a separate/different perspective - with something of a wicked wit!
  • Those tensions allowed what for me (being used to more dramatic and poetic genres) was the most interesting aspect of the memoir (can I call it that?) - the gentle tension between who you were/are and what you were doing. At one point Lorraine refers to her working class pride, and given that the market for herbals etc has always been more middle class, your experience had this extra element for me. The fact that you were clearly not humourless, evangelical vegetarian stereotypes also made reading less predictable, more interesting.
  • Mostly though, the problems weren't class perceptions and prejudice, but simply (?) a horrendous catalogue of 'natural'/situational disasters! I thought the way you managed to weave together the comedy and tragi-comedy was a testament to yourselves as good-humoured, creative and resilient individuals as well as your writing ability - what a time!
  • Finally, a little more about weaving. I thought the way you managed the 'threads' of storyline was one of the most impressive techniques here. Nadines life (comedy?!) and especially Josie's illness (tragedy) were both developed in-between the set pieces, and very satisfying for the (this) reader. The seasonal references (was it just one year?!) gave a natural/appropriate, atmospheric structure too. And I like how your final sentences of chapters 'closed' things with a variety of tones.

Thanks again Chris, and best wishes with ongoing creativity!"

IAN T. MELVILLE 03/01/12