My rating: 4/5 stars
Jodie escapes her London life and heads to the Isle of Wight to live on her brother’s houseboat. It is a far cry from her London apartment and her husband, but she had to get away. Broken and upset she begins her new life at Cockleshell bay. There Jodie meets a plethora of characters; a loud and flamboyant cleaner, a living statue, a noisy and very attractive sculptor, but all she wants is peace and quiet. Slowly they bring Jodie out of her shell as she becomes more accustom to life by the shore. But she can’t run from life forever.
I am so excited to be reading and reviewing this book as it was gifted to me through the LoveReading reader review panel and is my book from them. Although I was given a copy of this book for free, this is an honest review.
The setting was perfect for Sunny Days and Sea Breezes and provided the perfect escape for both Jodie and the reader. I was completely charmed by Cockleshell Bay and the characters that call it home, particular Marilyn with her vibrant outfit and personality to match. This novel was an emotional roller coaster through Jodie’s heartache, joy and personal development.
I have to be honest, at first I was not Jodie’s biggest fan. All the other characters were so brimming with positivity and kindness that Jodie’s character seemed to pale in comparison. This may just have been because I had a huge soft spot for Marilyn, as you have probably guessed, and at the start of the novel I am spoiling nothing by saying Jodie was shutting her out and being slightly rude. But as the novel continued you could see Jodie growing as a character and coming out of the dark place that she was in at the start. The book as a whole grew on me with every page.
There was a point in the novel where I noticed a small error. I don’t know if this is particularly noticeable to anyone but me, but there is a point in the novel that it is made a point of that Jodie has to wear her trainers because her boots are wet. Yet at the end of the night Jodie pulls off her boots. This isn’t a big deal and I’m quite surprised I even realised. But it’s also worth bearing in mind that this is an advanced copy and hadn’t had its final proof read so hopefully this will be fixed when it is published in June.
This is a relationship story with some grit and authenticity while also being beautifully heart-warming. Reading it felt like a holiday and I never wanted to leave Cockleshell Bay. If you are looking to be by the beach this summer, without leaving your house, this novel will be perfect.
Do you have a suggestion for the next book to add to my bookshelf? Let me know in comments.