Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Book Review - Christmas at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

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Title: Christmas at the Beach Hut 
Author: Veronica Henry
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 15th November 2018 
Rating: 4 Stars

Everyone adores Christmas . . .

Especially Lizzy Kingham. But this year, she is feeling unloved and underappreciated by her family. The present-buying, decorating and food shopping have all been left to her. So she wonders ... what would happen if she ran away and left them to it?

Lizzy heads to her favourite place: a beach hut on the golden sands of Everdene. There she meets an unlikely collection of new friends, all running away from something. But the spirit of Christmas gets under Lizzy's skin: soon the fairy lights are twinkling and the scent of mulled wine mingles with the sea air.

Back at Pepperpot Cottage, her family are desperate to find her. For Christmas isn't Christmas without Lizzy. Can they track her down in time and convince her she means the world to them, every day of the year?

How lovely to be back at Everdene and at Christmas. I really do love the setting and all the beach huts. and this time around it is a whole new cast of characters, so the book can be read easily as a standalone. 

What frustrated me slightly was how long it took for all the different threads to come together in any way.  The chapters flicked between different focal points, and one or two of the stories that sounded really interesting weren't focused on as much as I would like, and in the case of Jack and Nat, I was utterly confused the first two times they appeared as I couldn't get to grips with them. 

However I was enjoying everything I was reading and once I felt everything joining up as you would expect in books like this, it all made complete sense and at that point I found the book was an even better story. 

The blurb focuses on Lizzy and she is the lynchpin of the novel, all threads keep coming back to her.  She runs away from her family home a couple of days before Christmas as she is sick of being taken for granted, and what struck me most was her family's reactions and how dealt with the situation. 

Meanwhile at the beach huts, the others that have also decided on a different Christmas as arriving, and with their own baggage and reasoning.   

I loved seeing just how much Lizzy cares not just about her family but about the other people she has only just met. She has a gift for bringing people together and for managing to create Christmas out of nothing. 

Harley is the other main character in my eyes, he is also on the run but for different reasons and also finds himself in Everdene.  He is a young adult, and just wants what is best for his mum, but is scared of the situation his family is in and knows staying away would be for the best for a bit. 

As the book progressed it was Harley's personal growth was the best to see and I loved seeing him develop even over the short time frame of the book. 

Although its a story set around Christmas it to me fell short of making me feel festive and so I think it could easily be read at any time of year.  

This was an enjoyable book, but as a huge fan of the author, I know that I have enjoyed others a lot more than this one.   

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

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