Monday 9 August 2021

Guest Review: The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

Have you ever imagined running away from your life?

Well Birdy Finch didn't just imagine it. She did it. Which might've been an error. And the life she's run into? Her best friend, Heather's.

The only problem is, she hasn't told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems...

Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?

And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she's ever actually liked (but who thinks she's someone else)

Review: I am unfamiliar with this author, although she has already published three young adult novels. I was attracted to this book when I saw a review published in a magazine, and decided that it sounded like something I would enjoy. How right I was! I listened to the audio version of the book and finished it quickly, lost in the narrative for hours at a time. 

The story follows the fortunes of Elizabeth Finch (Birdy to her friends), who is at a bit of a crossroads in her life. When her friend since childhood, Heather (a renowned sommelier), decides to turn down a summer job at a country hotel in the west highlands of Scotland, Birdy decides that this is her chance to get away from things for a while and contemplate her future. She is going to pretend to be Heather! However, the rundown hotel she thinks she is going to find is actually now a luxury destination with a Michelin-starred chef. Birdy had better find out about wine quickly, as she is supposed to be a very able sommelier. Fearing that she will be found out any day is only one of her problems, not least of which is falling for the place and the staff, in particular handsome sous chef James, and what will happen to their relationship when the truth finally emerges, as it surely must. 

This is such a warm and funny story that I’m sure will appeal to lots of readers looking for a bit of escapism. It may leave you hungry for some of the delicious food served up at this highland hotel along with an accompanying glass of something that has been paired with it by Birdy. All through the book, I had a longing to go and revisit the Scottish highlands, as I could picture the hotel by the loch from the author’s descriptions. Although the book centres on Birdy, there are some other fantastic characters in addition to the ones I have mentioned above, all of whom have interesting stories. I particularly liked motherly Irene, who was so kind and wanting to believe the best in everyone. On the other hand, I particularly disliked Birdy’s ex Tim and pompous head chef Russell. I was somewhat conflicted in my feelings towards Birdy - on one hand foolhardy and on the other courageous - but definitely likeable. I was concerned throughout for the reputation of both Heather and the hotel, and unsure how everything was going to turn out. No spoilers though; you have to read the book to find the answer.

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

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