#BookReview #20BooksOfSummer The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

And now for a review of Book 17 – it’s been a good bank holiday reading weekend for me and my 20 Books of Summer list! Except this was another one of those not on my original list haha!! I won a lovely proof copy from the bods at MYVLF and as Jenny Colgan is one of my favourites I just couldn’t leave this on the shelves for too long!

ABOUT THE BOOK

A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.

Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where honking horns and shouting football fans keep them awake all night. If she doesn’t find a way out soon, Zoe knows it’s just a matter of time before she has a complete meltdown. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands, which is about as far away from the urban crush of London as possible. It sounds heavenly!

The job description asks for someone capable of caring for three “gifted children”, two of which behave feral wolverines. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the heather-strewn banks of Loch Ness. Still, the peaceful, picturesque location is everything London is not—and Zoe rises to the challenges of the job.

With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?

published by Sphere

432 pages

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £9.99

hive.co.uk  £10.69

whsmith  £9.35

MY REVIEW

I adore Jenny Colgan and I adored her latest book that gave me all the feels and more!!

This is the story of Zoe who is a single mum doing all she can for the sake of her little boy, Hari. Life is tough and even tougher when Hari has never uttered a single word but nobody can work out why he’s suffering so badly with this social anxiety disorder. She soon finds herself being priced out of her flat in London and is running low on options for what to do next.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and she and Hari soon find themselves heading to Scotland to help run a local bookshop, as well as being nanny to 3 children while their father is often away travelling for work. The home they move into ‘The Beeches’ is a large mansion but very run down and very low on love – it’s just filled with children who have been left pretty much to their own devices so their reaction to Nanny Number Seven leads to some very interesting and humorous experiences!

I really empathized with Zoe – it was clear how much she loved Hari and she just wanted the best for him but often felt powerless to break him out of his silence. And the mix of her 3 new charges was also so fascinating – she clearly felt sorry for them having no routine or structure but finding the balance to get them onside was a frustrating process for her. 

This book was also not afraid to approach some darker subjects around childcare, grief and anxiety and it all really struck a chord with the times we are living in now. Zoe had her own doubts over making the move and how it would impact on Hari and it was so heartwarming to see bonds that he made as he began to settle into country life. I just wanted to give him a big hug!!

Add in to the mix her new boss Nina and her worries over her pregnancy, Ramsay – the father of the 3 children and owner of The Beeches and his reluctance in letting go of the past, and issues with Jaz, her ex – it just made for such an entertaining and fabulous read that I couldn’t put it down once I’d started. Just wonderful!!

★★★★★

Oops I did it again…. #bookhaul

Ok, so I can explain……. I took a huge box of about 20 books to the charity shop this morning so was feeling rather smug and pleased with myself! I found it quite cleansing to let go of books that I’d read, or didn’t have the LOVE for anymore!! But……then BOOKS happened!! I tried to resist but you know when that book buying urge hits you, it CANNOT be reasoned with so I ended up just going with the flow and ‘adopted’ a few new reads which I thought I’d share with you now….. I know I’m amongst friends here who will help me justify this kind of behaviour…..right?!!!! Please!!!!!!

COMING HOME TO THE COMFORT FOOD CAFE by DEBBIE JOHNSON

Welcome to the cosy Comfort Food Café, where there’s kindness in every cup of hot chocolate and the menu is sprinkled with love and happiness…

When Zoe’s best friend Kate dies of breast cancer, her whole world is turned upside down. Within hours, she goes from being the wacky neighbour who can barely keep a houseplant alive to a whole new world of responsibility when she realises she’s guardian to Kate’s 16-year-old daughter, Martha.

Moving to the little village of Budbury in the West Country, Zoe hopes the fresh Dorset sea breeze and the gentle pace of life will help them heal.

Luckily for them both, the friendly community at the Comfort Food Cafe provide listening ears, sage advice, shoulders to cry on, and some truly excellent carrot cake. And when Martha’s enigmatic, absent father suddenly turns up, confusing not only Martha but Zoe too, the love and support of their new-found friends is the best present they could ask for…

CHRISTMAS AT THE LITTLE BEACH STREET BAKERY by JENNY COLGAN

Welcome back to Mount Polbearne! The new book from Top Ten bestseller Jenny Colgan is full of festive joy, warmth and the best hot chocolate you can imagine…

It’s Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne – a time for family, friends and feasting.Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She’s at her happiest when she’s creating delicious treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She’s determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn’t always work out as planned…

When Polly’s best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly’s past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that’s not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?

LETTERS FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE by EMMA CARROLL

We weren’t supposed to be going to the pictures that night. We weren’t even meant to be outside, not in a blackout, and definitely not when German bombs had been falling on London all month like pennies from a jar.

*WINNER* BOOKS ARE MY BAG MIDDLE GRADE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017
WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE MONTH MAY 2017
THE BOOKSELLER EDITOR’S 9-12 PICK OF THE MONTH
THE TIMES CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK

February, 1941. After months of bombing raids in London, twelve-year-old Olive Bradshaw and her little brother Cliff are evacuated to the Devon coast. The only person with two spare beds is Mr Ephraim, the local lighthouse keeper. But he’s not used to company and he certainly doesn’t want any evacuees.

Desperate to be helpful, Olive becomes his post-girl, carrying secret messages (as she likes to think of the letters) to the villagers. But Olive has a secret of her own. Her older sister Sukie went missing in an air raid, and she’s desperate to discover what happened to her. And then she finds a strange coded note which seems to link Sukie to Devon, and to something dark and impossibly dangerous.

THE SUMMER SEASIDE KITCHEN by JENNY COLGAN

Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish island where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. What was there for her on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel.

When a new client demands Flora’s presence back on Mure, she’s suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour, she’s also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes – and work out exactly where her future lies…

Let Jenny Colgan make your dreams come true!

THE ISLAND AT THE END OF EVERYTHING by KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE

From the author of the bestselling tale The Girl of Ink & Starscomes a beautiful new adventure about finding your way home.

There are some places you would not want to go. Even if I told you that we have oceans filled with sea turtles and dolphins, or forests lush with parrots that call through air thick with warmth… Nobody comes here because they want to.
The island of no return.

Ami lives with her mother on an island where the sea is as blue as the sky. It’s all she knows and loves, but the arrival of malicious government official Mr Zamora changes her world forever: her island is to be made into a colony for lepers. Taken from her mother and banished across the sea, Ami faces an uncertain future in an orphanage. There she meets a honey-eyed girl named for butterflies, and together they discover a secret that will lead her on an adventure home. Ami must go back to the island of no return, but will she make it in time?

LOVE IN AN ENGLISH GARDEN by VICTORIA CONNELLY

The Jacobs family has lived at Orley Court for generations. But when Vanessa Jacobs’s husband dies and leaves the property to her, she finds costs spiralling out of control. In order to stay in their beloved home, she and her daughters will have to sell part of it off—a decision that drives a wedge between Vanessa and her live-in mother-in-law.

The new owners of the north wing are Laurence Sturridge and his father, Marcus. Laurence wants to escape the constant pressure of his corporate job in London, while Marcus longs to heal from the grief of losing his wife. Could the beauty of Orley Court offer them a fresh outlook on life?

As the two families embark on a challenging new chapter over the course of a glorious English summer, secrets are revealed and relationships tested. But as Orley Court begins to weave its magic over them, will it be love, above all, that brings the two families together?

CHRISTMAS CAKES AND MISTLETOE NIGHTS by CAROLE MATTTHEWS

Indulge in this wonderful, cake-filled novel of romance and friendship. Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights is Sunday Times bestselling Carole Matthews doing what she does best!

Fay and Danny are madly in love and it’s all Fay’s ever dreamed of. But she left everything – including the delightful cake shop she used to run – to be with Danny on his cosy canal boat The Dreamcatcher. And as she soon finds out, making delicious cakes on the water isn’t always smooth sailing!

Then Fay gets a call from her friends, a call that sends her back to her friends and the Cake Shop in the Garden. It will be hard being away from Danny but their relationship is strong enough to survive . . . isn’t it?

Fay soon falls happily back in love with her passion for baking – especially now she’s on dry land again! – and starts to wonder if she ever should have left. With Christmas around the corner, Fay is determined that her friends will have a very merry time, but does that mean even more time away from Danny? Can Fay really get everything she ever wanted in Christmas Cakes & Mistletoe Nights.

 

They were all books I needed weren’t they?!!  So those nice gaps I had on my bookshelves this morning are set to be filled in once more…. and the cycle of a bookworm life begins again!!!  😉

HAPPY READING!!