Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Book Review - The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

Amazon UK
Title: The Summer of Serendipity
Author: Ali McNamara
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 13th July 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there's a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.

'The Welcome House' is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there's always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.

While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she's remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.
But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious 'Welcome House'? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?

There is something just a bit magical about this book, and the legends surrounding  the Welcome House in Ballykiltara. When Ren and Kiki first encounter the welcome house they are convinced they have found the property they are looking for, for their customer, so long as Ren can find the owner and persuade them to sell. 

Just one small snag local folklore believe the house is magic and that it has now owner, or caretaker or anyone in charge of it at all.  Then there are the legends that state that the search for the truth will result in your own downfall. Plus there are many other bits of Irish folklore that appear to have made it into the book. 

There is a couple of large mysteries as the heart of this book, and I was fascinated to see how they would resolve. Although not normally a fan of history, and there is a fair amount of ancient history in this story,  I couldn't help but be drawn in by the suggestive writing, that captured my imagination.

The setting of Ballykiltara is beautiful, and the area of Ireland will be familiar to fans of Ali McNamara, and those that have read Breakfast at Darcy's. Given I really can't remember the details of that book I wouldn't worry if I hadn't read it, as its not relevant to this new book, other than providing some updates to various characters. 

Kiki is an amusing and lovable character, especially with her ability to mix up words at time.  She is a great sidekick for Ren, who seems to be  Kiki's total opposite. There is definitely romance in the air in Ireland, and the place just weaves a spell over those that stay there, and in my case those that read the book! 

In my eyes this isn't the best or my favourite book by the author, but it is an incredibly enjoyable story that I did love a lot, even as a skeptic towards almost all mysticism. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Sphere for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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