Amy and her family have moved from city life in Bristol to a bleak old farmhouse near a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. The move – due to Dad wanting to ‘find himself’ by opening a veterinary practice in the countryside – has left her isolated and lonely. That is, until she meets drama queen Caitlin, with whom she becomes firm friends. Most of the villagers, however, remain aloof, hostile even, even as they drop off stray animals at the farm, however much Dad insists that he is not running a rescue centre. Then, one day, a gorgeously cute puppy, Shimmer, is dumped on the family. Mum argues that they can’t afford to keep her – but Amy, smitten, thinks otherwise. It’s up to her and her friends to come up with a fundraising plan.
The story gets off to a slow start, gathering pace with the introduction of Shimmer. The characters are affable and well-meaning, any differences between them smoothed out by the end of the story. Undemanding and somewhat predictable, this is nevertheless an enjoyable story, the secure and optimistic world it presents and its animal theme appealing to many young readers.