Wednesday 2 January 2019

Guest Review: Sail Away by Celia Imrie

The deliciously witty, irresistible new novel from the top ten Sunday Times bestselling author of Not Quite Nice follows the exploits of two women on an Atlantic cruise ship

The phone hasn't rung for months. Suzy Marshall is discovering that work can be sluggish for an actress over sixty – even for the former star of a 1980s TV series. So when she's offered the plum role of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in Zurich, it seems like a godsend. Until, that is, the play is abruptly cancelled in suspicious circumstances, and Suzy is forced to take a job on a cruise ship to get home. 

Meanwhile Amanda Herbert finds herself homeless in rainy Clapham. Her flat purchase has fallen through, and her children are absorbed in their own dramas. Then she spots an advertisement for an Atlantic cruise, and realises a few weeks on-board would tide her over – and save her money – until the crisis is solved. 

As the two women set sail on a new adventure, neither can possibly predict the strange characters and dodgy dealings they will encounter – nor the unexpected rewards they will reap. 

Vividly evoking the old-world glamour of a cruise ship – and the complex politics of its staff quarters – Sail Away is at once a hilarious romp and a thrilling tale of intrigue, from the acclaimed pen of Celia Imrie.

Review: This is Celia Imrie’s third novel. Having enjoyed the first two, I was keen to read this book as well. I actually listened to the audiobook in this case, which was read by the author herself. It was quite different from the first two books, but no less enjoyable. It proved a marvellous mix of humour and intrigue; highly entertaining from the start.

The plot revolves around two women in their sixties: Suzy, an actress; and Amanda, a retired widow. For very different reasons, they both end up on the same cruise ship, sailing first from Genoa to Southampton and thence across the Atlantic to New York. Unbeknown to them, they have both become pawns in an elaborate scam being engineered by an internationally wanted criminal, a very dangerous and ruthless man. Caught up in the same scheme is Suzy’s actor friend, Jason, who is also on board. As the ship sails across the Atlantic, the party becomes more and more concerned about the situation, while the rest of the passengers remain in blissful ignorance of their predicament and just enjoy their luxurious surroundings.

I thought this was a great story; there was so much going on. The suspense grew and grew, but I really had no idea what was going to happen next. It wasn’t all high drama though. The ship was, of course, full of other interesting passengers, of which we meet a few. I absolutely loved one lady in particular, whose misuse of words had me laughing out loud on several occasions. It sounded a really wonderful cruise as well. Lots of activities for anyone wanting to be entertained, and endless amounts of mouthwatering food. I would recommend this read to just about anyone; it’s a real page-turner that keeps you alert to the very end.

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

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