Wednesday 5 June 2019

Guest Review: The Hotel on Mulberry Bay by Melissa Hill

Escape to a hotel by the beach with Melissa Hill, the internationally bestselling author of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY'S and A GIFT TO REMEMBER. 

Mulberry Hotel, perched on a clifftop above a sweeping bay, was once the heart and soul of pretty seaside town Mulberry Bay. Run by the Harte family for years, the place itself is almost as beloved as cheery landlady Anna. 

The hotel was also once home to thirty-something sisters Eleanor and Penny, and while youngest sister Penny still lives close by, it's been some time since Elle has visited. But following a family tragedy, Elle is forced to return from her busy London life and reassess her past.

When it becomes apparent that the hotel is in dire straits, Elle and Penny are unprepared for the reaction of their father, Ned, He steadfastly refuses to give up the family legacy, revealing that he's given up something equally precious once before. Startled by their father's surprising revelation, the sisters unite, with the local community behind them, in their efforts to save the hotel - and, in the process, heal the fractures in the Harte family.

Review: This is my first novel by Melissa Hill. I managed to source the audiobook from my local library and listened to it while on holiday. I quickly found myself lost in the story and finished the whole book in no time. I shall definitely be on the lookout for more of this author’s novels. 

The story is set in the small Irish coastal town of Mulberry Bay, where the hotel has been run for many years by the Harte family, its success due primarily to the welcome and care provided by the family’s matriarch, Anna. The Harte’s daughters, Elle and Penny, have been brought up there and are now in their mid thirties. Although Penny still lives in the town, Elle has moved away to follow her career as a successful architect and lives in London. When Anna dies suddenly, Elle returns home for the funeral to find the hotel in financial trouble and more than a little run down. Her father, Ned, is determined that the family should not give up the business, so the family, with help from locals, set about returning the building to its former glory. In the process, the girls discover things they had not known about their family’s past as well as learning more about themselves. 

I thought this was a charming story of a family brought together by grief and adversity and finding themselves repairing rifts in their relationships as well as in the actual fabric of the hotel. I particularly enjoyed watching Elle change from almost a hard business woman into somebody much more like her mother had been, with determination to make the hotel the success it once was. At the same time, it was good to witness a transformation in her sister as well to someone with more confidence in her own value. Mulberry Bay seemed a really nice little town, with a strong sense of community, willing to pull together when needed. Too bad about the bank manager! Melissa described it all so well that I felt it would make a perfect holiday destination, especially if you could book into one of the rooms in the newly refurbished hotel. I would certainly recommend this book; it would make a great holiday companion, as I found myself.

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

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