Sunday 21 May 2017

Book Review - Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea by Liz Eeles - Blog Tour - Fab Firsts

Fab Firsts is my new regular Sunday feature, that is going to be highlighting books that are firsts. When interviewing authors, it will be about their first book, as well as other firsts in their lives. When reviewing books for this feature, there will be a mix of debuts, first books in a series, the first time I read an author, and possibly other firsts depending on what I can think of!

If you are an author wanting to take part in Fab Firsts then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you.

I hope you enjoy this look at a variety of hopefully fabulous firsts, while making some sort of dent in my review and paperback TBRs which are my current main focus!

This is Liz Eeles debut novel. 

Amazon UK
Title: Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea
Author: Liz Eeles
Format reviewed: Ebook 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 18th May 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

When twenty-nine-year-old Annie Trebarwith receives an unexpected letter from a great-aunt she’s never known, she leaves her shoebox-sized flat in London and catches a train to the rugged Cornish coast.

Salt Bay is beautiful and Annie begins to kindle a bond with her great-aunt Alice. Even though there is zero phone signal and the locals – including the gorgeous but brooding Josh Pasco – can be decidedly grumpy at times, Annie starts to feel at home in Salt Bay.

Soon Annie’s love of music leads her to relaunch the Salt Bay Choral Society, and she’s surprised to see how just much the choir means to the community – and she even starts to break through Josh’s surly exterior…

But London is calling Annie back, and she has to make a decision. Give up her old life completely, or leave Salt Bay, her new-found family – and the choir – behind?

Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea is a heart-warming story about family, belonging and the healing power of music, perfect for fans of Jo Thomas, Holly Martin and Carole Matthews.

If you are looking for a story including long lost relatives, deep family secrets, a lovely older woman,  one villainous man, one gorgeous guy, an Aussie barmaid, a lovely Cornish coastal location, and a choir, then you have come to the right place, as Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea has all that and more. 

Long lost relatives - Annie recieves a letter out of the blue from her Great Aunt Alice who she didnt even know existed, inviting her down to Cornwall, to spend some time with her. Since Alice's mum died she ha had no family and until now has lived a nomadic life in London, temping and moving from flat to flat.  She really isn't sure how to deal with unexpected family but curiosity trumps nervousness. 

Deep family secrets - ah well if I told you about these in any detail, I would spoil elements of the book. However by virtue of the fact that Alice herself was a surprise to Annie, anything Alice says about the big family rift will be a revelation. 

A lovely older woman - great aunt Alice is exactly that, she is in frail health and is determined to have Annie live in Salt Bay with her on a more permanent basis, whereas Annie isn't as sure. 

One villainous man - within the first few mentions of this character, my hackles were well and truly raised and it turns out with good reason.  There is just something about the way he acts and his attitude in general towards Salt Bay that really annoyed me. 

Whereas my one gorgeous guy - well he is a typical Cornish hunk, quite moody and is determined to hate Annie due to the family she is a part of. He and Annie don't get off the smoothest of starts, and I loved seeing their dynamic. He also seems to be an arch rival of the villainous man! 

An Aussie barmaid - Kayla who takes Annie under her wing to show her the sights of Salt Bay. She is a breath of fresh air, and I  loved any scene she was part of. 

A lovely Cornish coastal location - welcome to Salt Bay, where is seems to rain a lot, but on the nice days it has stunning views, and beaches, a cream tea shop, the local pub and a whole group of inhabitants that would be best described as salt of the earth people.  I love reading books set in Cornwall, and this definitely matched in with my previous fictional trips to the county. 

And last but not least there is the Choral Society, which Kayla and Annie decide to resurrect. Although you don't really see much in the way of the practices, you can't help but get a good feel for just what it is doing for the community in Salt Bay, and how it will continue to affect people's lives. 

Ultimately Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea is an all around entertaining story with various threads running through it. I loved the reasoning behind the Choral Society's reformation, and found the whole book to be a pleasurable reading experience.  Brilliant debut and I'm already looking forward to the next installment in the series. 

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

About the author

Liz began her writing career as a journalist for newspapers and magazines before moving into the health sector as a communications manager and press officer. The low point of her career was abandoning an interview with Cliff Richard after two questions because she was about to faint – her excuse is that she was newly pregnant at the time.
Liz is from Gloucestershire but now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and grown-up daughter. She spends a lot of time meaning to meditate, avoiding exercise, and missing her son who lives in London.

Follow along with the rest of the blog tour for more about Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea

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