Wednesday 10 May 2017

Guest Review: 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...
Dreams can come true with Jenny Colgan

Review: I always look forward to reading a new book from Jenny Colgan. For me, they never fail to please. Her writing is always full of humour and has the ability to transport you to whatever part of the world she is writing about. 

This story is set principally on the Scottish island of Mure, which I first encountered in Jenny's short story, A Very Distant Shore. It is typical of a Hebridean island in having a small community where everybody knows everyone else's business. This tale revolves around Flora MacKenzie, a paralegal currently living and working in London, although originally an inhabitant of Mure. There has been a rift in her family since her mother died, causing a long absence from her homeland. When she is sent to the island to sort out a problem for a client, she finds herself dealing with more than she bargained for and questioning where her future lies. 

In addition to Flora, we are introduced to a host of interesting characters, both islanders and outsiders. Her family includes brothers Fintan, Innes and Hamish, each different and challenging in their own ways. Then there is Colton Rogers, a rich American interested in preserving the island's way of life, Joel, Flora's boss, who is unsettled by the island's tranquility and remoteness, and Charlie, who runs an outdoor adventure centre. These are in addition to a selection of other islanders. There is drama aplenty in Colton's fight and Flora's struggle, mixed with a fair amount of humour and of course a bit of love interest. 

This would be a great book to add to a holiday reading list. Another success for Jenny Colgan. 

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