Monday 9 July 2018

Guest Review: Summer on the Little Cornish Isles:The Starfish Studio by Phillipa Ashley

One summer can change everything …
Poppy has always loved Cornwall – the crisp sea air, the welcoming community. So when her boyfriend Dan suggests they leave their office jobs and take over the Starfish Studio on the Isles of Scilly, Poppy doesn’t need asking twice.
But things don’t go to plan when Dan dumps her, weeks before they’re due to move. Determined not to give up, Poppy accepts the help of local photographer Jake, her landlord’s grandson. But Jake is distracted by a loss from his past.
Can they turn the crumbling gallery into a success in time for tourist season? And will a summer on the little Cornish Isles mend just the studio – or Poppy’s heart too?

Review: Ah how lovely to be transported back to the Little Cornish Isles in this 3rd book about these fictitious members of the Scilly Isles. I have also read the preceding two books in this series, and have not failed to be enchanted by both story and setting. It is not necessary to have read the other books to follow what is going on in this one, but I'm sure I am not alone in looking forward to meeting some familiar faces in a story, and there were quite a few in this book. 

The action in this case takes place on the island of St Piran's. Elderly artist, Archie, has had a nasty accident, leading him to give up running the Starfish Studio, where he paints and sells his own and other artists' work. In spite of lacking relevant experience, Poppy and boyfriend Dan decide to give up their jobs and take on the studio's lease. However, poor Poppy is dumped at the last minute, but decides to go through with the plans for the move on her own. The studio is a bit run down, but Poppy soon discovers what it is like to be living in a small community where everyone looks after everyone else. Her new neighbours, in particular Archie's grandson Jake, join her in trying to make a success of her new business. Poppy is hoping that all the activity and her new environment will help her get over her disappointment in losing Dan. 

I have really enjoyed Phillipa Ashley's stories about the Little Cornish Isles. They are full of interesting and engaging characters and Phillipa's skilful way of writing grabs you and transports you to these marvellous sounding islands. However, it does sound as if you need fairly good sea legs or enjoy travelling in a helicopter or small aircraft to visit. I really admired the character of Poppy in this story. Her determination to make a go of things and stay positive was admirable in the extreme. Of course, you had to like handsome Jake, with his tanned body and glamorous tales of travelling all over the world in his job as wildlife photographer. In addition, it would be wrong not to mention Leo, the large ginger cat who acts like cats do, getting into mischief and adding a bit of humour to the proceedings from time to time.

In summary, I can heartily recommend this and the other Little Cornish Isles stories; they might just have you revising your holiday plans and heading to the Scilly Isles. 

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

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