Friday, 8 June 2018

Review: Somewhere Beyond The Sea by Miranda Dickinson

Can you fall in love with someone before you’ve even met?
Seren MacArthur is living a life she never intended. Trying to save the Cornish seaside business her late father built – while grieving for his loss – she has put her own dreams on hold and is struggling. Until she discovers a half-finished seaglass star on her favourite beach during an early morning walk. When she completes the star, she sets into motion a chain of events that will steal her heart and challenge everything she believes.
Jack Dixon is trying to secure a better life for daughter Nessie and himself. Left a widower and homeless when his wife died, he’s just about keeping their heads above water. Finding seaglass stars completed on Gwithian beach is a bright spark that slowly rekindles his hope.
Seren and Jack are searching for their missing pieces. But when they meet in real life, it’s on the opposing sides of a battle. Jack is managing the redevelopment of a local landmark, and Seren is leading the community campaign to save it.
Both have reason to fight – Seren for the cause her father believed in, Jack for his livelihood. But only one can win. With so much at stake, will they ever find what they are really looking for?

Review:  Ok, I loved this book. I knew I was going to but there is so much I loved about it this might be a little bit of a gushy review but I'm not sorry! So firstly I loved the way this book was structured, this is the thing that first impressed me once I started reading. I love a dual narrative novel so that was a massive plus point for me and I love a book with short chapters, another massive plus point. In the case of this book its like each chapter teases you with a little bit of Jack and Seren's story and then you switch to the other character and then you have to keep reading so this was a really really quick read for me. A quick read not because it lacked in any substance, very much the opposite, but Miranda kept teasing me with details and conversations and actions and then I HAD TO KEEP READING!

Obviously the setting for this book is absolutely beautiful. I've never been there but I feel like I have now because of all of the gorgeous descriptions of the beaches and the town and the shop and the school. I love the fact that we had an introduction to this place at Christmas time and now we're seeing it in a different seasons. If you want to see some of the places that are described in the book and inspired the novel then I suggest you check out Miranda's YouTube channel because she has an awesome video with the settings in there. I watched it right after I finished to take me back to those beaches again!

We also got introduced to some of the characters in Christmas in St Ives and the characters in this novel are just another thing that I love about it. I loved Aggi from the moment I met her and her coffee hut, but I love the calming influence she has on tense situations in this book. She comes in, says what she thinks not leaving out any words in the way of censorship and suddenly everything seems just a little bit better. Cerrie was a great character from the novella so I was pleased to see her playing her own special part in Jack and Seren's story. 

Jack and Seren are obviously the main characters here and I love the fact that they both have their flaws. This makes them so relatable and so easy to sympathise and empathise with. Jack is a single Dad who is always looking for more work as a site manager so that he can support himself and Nessie. He has all these worries but he still manages to be a decent human being. Seren also has financial worries and other hardships that she has to face, but she muddles on and works incredibly hard to support her family as well. Nessie is a great character, she is Jack's daughter and her relationship with her father is just beautiful. She is another character that provides some comic relief and also just someone you will instantly fall in love with. 

Seren's dad Mark is another key character in this novel. He has recently passed away but there is so much of him in this novel and this felt really personal to the author whilst reading it. I loved the little nods to him on almost every page and the way his honour is upheld the way we would all want to remember someone we loved very much whom we have lost. There are some really touching moments where characters other than Seren remember him in their own ways and show their respect to him and this is where the heart of the novel really is. 

Of course there is beautiful romance in this novel as well as solidified love that comes from years of friendship. The romance is very much of the slow burn variety, and the back and forth felt very much like I was watching Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in either Sleepless in Seattle or You've got Mail although the characters here are very much on an equal footing-just another thing I loved about this book. 

I honestly can't think of a single thing that I would change about this book it had everything for me. I swooned, I cheered, I cried and it taught me a lot about sea glass and astronomy as well-how cool is that? Definitely pop this on in your basket (virtual or real life) and read it as soon as you can because once you start I guarantee you will fall in love with these characters, this setting and the amount of love and feeling that has been poured into and pours out of this novel. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US




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