Wednesday 12 June 2019

Guest Review: The Summer of New Beginnings by Helen J Rolfe

Headstrong and organised, Mia is a single mum who wants to fix the world - but the one thing she can’t fix is her family. Responsible older brother Will has fled Primrose Bay, unable to forgive and forget after the ultimate betrayal. And Jasmine, no longer the wayward baby sister, is determined to prove to her brother and sister that she’s just as capable as they are.

Together in the bay after years apart and a separation spanning three continents, it doesn’t take long for the siblings to clash when Mia calls everyone together in a family crisis. And with jealousy and resentment simmering between them, as well as faces from the past and new loves, the family ties could end up being severed forever.

Sometimes we need to lose ourselves in order to find each other again…

Review: This is just my second book written by this author. I greatly enjoyed the first one that I read, and having been attracted by the alluring cover on this book and of course the synopsis, I chose it to be next. As with my previous experience, the story hooked me from the start, and had me coming back for more until the end.

The book is set in Primrose Bay, just outside Melbourne, where the Marcello family have run the Sun Coral Cafe for as long as anyone can remember. Two of the younger generation, Will and Jasmine, have left the family home and business and settled abroad, while the third, Mia, has stayed in the bay and set up a picnic company, offering the most amazing bespoke picnics. When a family crisis looms, Mia, always the one to try and fix everything, calls her siblings home, and that’s when the fun really starts. All manner of past grievances rear their ugly heads, but the three of them must pull together if they are going to save the family business and, indeed, the family itself.

I found this a really enjoyable story, with strong, believable characters and situations that might be familiar to any reader. I liked the way that the story is told, incidents being described from different perspectives by each sibling. A picture slowly emerges of childhoods that were at times painful for each of the three Marcello youngsters, in part due to parents working hard to ensure a successful business and not giving enough time to family life. This is definitely an emotional tale, that above all underlines the importance of communication within relationships. On the lighter side, I loved the idea of Mia’s picnic company; I will never again be able to have a picnic with sandwiches from a plastic box and no linen tablecloth! This is a book I would strongly recommend; a good summer read.

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

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