Sunday 14 January 2018

Book Review - The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan

Amazon UK
Title: The Endless Beach
Author: Jenny Colgan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 11th January 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

On the quayside next to the Endless Beach sits the Summer Seaside Kitchen. It's a haven for tourists and locals alike, who all come to eat the freshest local produce on the island and catch up with the gossip. Flora, who runs the cafe, feels safe and content - unless she thinks too hard about her relationship with Joel, her gorgeous but emotionally (and physically) distant boyfriend.

While Flora is in turmoil about her relationship. her best friend Lorna is pining after the local doctor. Saif came to the island as a refugee, having lost all of his family. But he's about to get some shocking news which will change everything for him.

As cold winter nights shift to long summer days, can Flora find her happy-ever-after with Joel?

Easily without a doubt in my mind, the best book Jenny Colgan has ever written.  My only regret was that I hadn't started it earlier in the day so that I could have read it in one sitting. 

In fact, please don't waste your time reading this review, just go buy the book now, settle down  in your comfy reading spot and read that instead, it will be a far better and more enjoyable use of your time. 


Well that's because the book is brilliant. It is heartwarming, it is emotional and I just didn't want to put it down at any point. I adored being back on the island of Mure with Flora and her family, and although Flora is arguably the main character, I found it was all the other storylines that I was loving even more. 

I loved catching up with Fintan, one of Flora's brother, and seeing how his relationship was progressing. In fact Coltan is pivotal throughout the book, and yet although you know he is up to something, I was open mouthed in shock when his big secret was finally revealed. 

Then there is Saif, the refugee doctor on the island, who has been working hard to be accepted by the islanders, while continually awaiting for news of his family.  Saif's story was gripping, I absolutely loved him so much, especially when seeing what he had to cope with in this story.  

Joel who we got to know quite well in The Summer Seaside Kitchen is also full of surprises and we finally get to find out more about his background, as well as him being responsible for some of the rather shocking bits of the book. 

This book is a sequel to The Summer Seaside Kitchen, but it could be read as a standalone.  There are a good reminder in Jenny Colgan's ever present, and always useful letter to her readers at the start of the book, that even as someone who had read the first book, brought my mind right back to Mure and the story before it even got going. 

Such wonderful writing, it draws you in and won't let you go, I really cared about every last character, and the children that are present in the book are fabulous too - including Agot who has such a great personality for a 4 year old and is a real tonic for any scene she is in. 

I found the first bit of the book started slightly slowly, as it took a bit longer than I would have expected to be completely engrossed, but once I had a grip on the new characters, and recalled Mure fully, I had to keep reading and reading it.  The many storylines are fantastic, and I really wouldn't have predicted a fair amount of the book. 

The Endless Beach is already one of my favourite books of the year, I think this may be they start of a slight change in the writing from the author, as I don't recall feeling this emotional and churned up after other books by her in the past,  and if that is the case then I am incredibly excited for the next releases. 

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

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