Monday, 27 February 2017

Book Review - The Little Theatre By The Sea by Rosanna Ley - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #54

Amazon UK
Title: The Little Theatre By The Sea
Author: Rosanna Ley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 9th March 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Faye has just completed her degree in interior design when she finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less. While debating what to do next she receives a surprise phone call from her old college friend Charlotte who now lives in Sardinia and is married to Italian hotelier, Fabio.

When Charlotte suggests that Faye relocate for a month to house-sit, Faye wonders if a summer break in sunny Sardinia might be the perfect way to recharge her batteries and think about her future. But then Charlotte tells Faye that there's something more behind the sudden invitation: her friends Marisa and Alessandro are looking for a designer to renovate a crumbling old theatre they own in the scenic village of Deriu. The idea certainly sounds appealing to Faye, but little does she know what she's letting herself in for if she accepts this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . . .

I'm not entirely sure whether I fell for the town of Deriu in Sardinia first, or the Little Theatre By The Sea, for within the very early part of the book both found their way into my heart to stay. 

I found so much to love in this book, from the various secrets that were being hidden, to the various villagers in Deriu, to all of the Italian food being consumed that sounded delicious, and just the overall story as it was unfolding. 

It has been many years since I last read a book by Rosanna Ley, so really wasn't sure what to expect with this one, and was pleasantly surprised by just how much I was enjoying it. The theatre that is at the heart of the book has a certain charm to it, and the aim is for it to be renovated back into working condition and to become the heart of the community. 

However not everyone likes the Rinaldis, Alessandro and Marissa who own the theatre, and they determined to stop the project from going ahead. Faye is persuaded to visit Sardinia, primarily as a holiday but also to offer her thoughts on the theatre project, as she had recently qualified as an interior designer. 

In amongst the main story of Faye, the Rinaldis and the theatre, we occasionally have chapters where the focus changes to the story of Molly and Ade. They are Faye's parents are are going through a rough patch. Mainly we see things from Ade's point of view, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him in places, he is just a man that doesn't really know what he wants. 

I think this may be the first time I have visited Sardinia, either in real life or fiction, and I feel as though I now have a great feel for at least some of the island, as well as the way of life, and some of the history of the place. Keep you eyes out for a bit of local history, set in the second World War that tells of a courageous man.  

I really enjoyed the writing in this book as well as the story as a whole. I read the first 20% or so before bed one night and spent most of the night when I was meant to be sleeping, wondering what was going to happen next, and in awe of the first views of the little theatre by the sea, which to me is the sign of a good book. 

For me The Little Theatre By The Sea was a brilliant reintroduction to Rosanna Ley, so now I just need to work out why I haven't read as many of her books as perhaps I should, or at the very least keep an eye out for future releases. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Quercus for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thank you to those of you which voted for this book, a three way tie was a tough result but ultimately given I'm drowning in review books I pretty much had to go for this one for the sake of my sanity. 

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