Today I’m reviewing one from my Netgalley pile, as part of my slow bid to finally bring it under control. Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for letting me have a copy of this to review. I really enjoyed this book and am thrilled that the author has also now written The Lighthouse Bookshop, which sounds equally good and is already on my to-read list.
The Book: Anna moves to Crovie, a tiny fishing village on the Moray Firth, for a fresh start. But when she arrives, she realises her new home is really no more than a shed, and the village itself sits beneath a cliff right on the edge of the sea, in constant danger of storms and landslides. Has she made a terrible mistake?
Yet as she begins to learn about the Scottish coast and its people, something she thought she’d lost reawakens in her. She rediscovers her love of cooking, and turns her kitchen into a pop-up lunch club. But not all the locals are delighted about her arrival, and some are keen to see her plans fail.
Will Anna really be able to put down roots in this remote and wild village? Or will her fragile new beginning start to crumble with the cliffs . . . ?
The Review: I’ve never been to Crovie, but being Scottish and having lived near Inverness for a few years I know where the village is and how gorgeous (and wild) the weather can be there. When you live somewhere like that the weather becomes part of your life in a way it doesn’t when you live inland and that was integrated into this story in way which made it part of it without it dominating.
I loved watching Anna adjust to her new home, start to live in such a unique place, and build a new life for herself. She’s spent so much time following someone else’s tune that it was lovely to see her re-discovering her own. The characters and sense of community were spot on, and between that and the location the book really came to life. Without revealing any spoilers there was some wild weather in the book and the writing had me thinking I was in Anna’s home listening to the howling wind.
The other thing this book did well was showcasing the fabulous food that can be found off the Scottish coast. The meals that Anna made in her pop-up restaurant sounded amazing and I was so disappointed that they weren’t there for me to eat there and then.
This is a fabulous book that will transport you. It’s full of warmth, good people, good food and a bit of conflict (because all books need some conflict in them). It’s an ideal read for any time of year, just make sure you’re comfy, cosy and have a drink and snacks as once you start reading you won’t want to be disturbed.