Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Book Review - A Family Holiday by Bella Osbourne

Amazon UK
Title: A Family Holiday
Author: Bella Osbourne
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 16th June 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

She’ll do whatever it takes to keep this family together…

As the nanny to four quirky but loveable children, Charlie French has learnt that if there was ever a cement shortage Weetabix would be a viable substitute and that YouTube videos can go viral in seconds, much to her horror. But, most importantly, she's learnt that whatever happens you stick together as a family.

When tragedy strikes, Charlie is forced to decide whether it’s time to move on or fight to keep the children she loves. With the distraction of the children's gorgeous Uncle Felix and the chance of a holiday in stunning Antigua, she’s left wondering if turquoise seas can wash away their present troubles. Is the pull of white sand beaches too tempting to resist or will paradise fail to keep them all together?

A Family Holiday is one of those books that had me saying at 2am, just one more chapter and then I'll go to bed, I had only started it a couple of hours earlier, and was half way through not wanting to put it down for real life things like sleep. It is a warm loving tale, a story of family and guardianship, and a young nanny that is temporarily in charge of her children, but she is determined to only let them go to the best potential guardian. 

Before the book starts, the parents of Charlie's young charges die tragically in a car accident, leaving her in loco parentis. She loves the children and will do anything for them, and helps them with their grief. The will states that the options are either that Aunt Ruth or Uncle Felix take legal guardianship of the children. Just one small snag, Ruth is not a people person and doesn't like Charlie at all, and Felix went awol years ago and hasn't yet been located. 

The four children, Ted, George, Eleanor and Millie all have brilliantly different personalities, and its easy to forget at times that Ted is only 15, as a large amount of the time he is feeling like the "man of the house" and trying to be very adult. 

In amongst all of this there is also a family holiday to Antigua for Charlie and the children, booked while the parents were still alive. Now how realistic it is that Charlie would have been allowed to leave the country with the children, I'm not sure, but it meant for the second half of the book there was a much more light hearted dynamic at work, with their 4 week trip to Antigua. 

I'm not going to give any details for the plot at this point, other than to say I wish I had been in Antigua alongside the family, as I got a great feel for the island, and made me look forward to my own holiday even more. 

There are moments where you will be laughing out loud, and others where your heart strings will be pulled, and its just the most wonderful story. I really enjoyed every second of the book, and was gutted that it had to end. I thought that Bella Osbourne's first book was brilliant, but I think I loved this one even more, and that I definitely need to read her future releases. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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