A brand new summery story about returning to your past and finding a new beginning from bestselling author Jenny Oliver!
Every Summer has its own story…
For Ava Fisher, the backdrop to all her sun-drenched memories – from her first taste of chocolate-dipped churros to her very first kiss – is her grandmother’s Summerhouse in the sleepy Spanish seaside town of Mariposa.
Returning for one last summer, Ava throws herself into a project her grandmother would be proud of. Café Estrella – once the heart of the sleepy seaside village – now feels more ramshackle than rustic. Just like Ava, it seems it has lost its sparkle.
Away from the exhausting juggle of London life, Ava realises somehow her life has stopped being…happy. But being back at the Summerhouse by the sea could be the new beginning she didn’t even realise she needed…
What does TWG think?
Oh my god that cover!!! From the moment it first appeared on social media, I knew straight away that I had to read it. Not only did the title intrigue me because of the summerhouse (new one on me), the beautiful colours on the cover really stood out. Do you remember the extremely popular nineties fizzy drink, Panda Pop? The top half of the front cover reminded me of the pink one, strawberries and cream I think, whereas the second half of the cover reminded me of the fruit salad 1p chew sweets. I really am a cover snob, aren’t I?
‘The Summerhouse by the Sea’ is written from two different perspectives; Ava Fisher’s and her brother Rory. Ava came across as more of the ‘heart on sleeve’ character, whereas Rory comes across as militant and cold.
The book starts off with some rather bad news; Ava and Rory’s grandmother had died and they need to attend her funeral back in sunny Spain. Stepping onto Spanish soil brings back a lot of emotional memories for Ava and her childhood. What she didn’t quite expect though, was how unsettled she became whenever she thought of her life back in London. Ava realised that she had a decision to make…and she knew fine well that her brother wouldn’t like it.
I must admit, when I first opened the book and came face to face with the emotion, I had to keep checking that I was still reading the same book. For some reason I expected the storyline to ooze joy from the start, so when it turned out differently, I was quite surprised. After all, the cover looks rather happy, doesn’t it?
As I mentioned above, the storyline is written from both Ava and Rory’s points of view, each characters story being told in separate chapters. For me, I could not gel with Rory at all. He seemed to have a cast iron guard up, maybe protecting himself from any type of emotion both good and bad – who knows. I just found him to be incredibly arrogant, I willed for my opinion to change by the end of the novel!
As for Ava, I found her personality much more welcoming, even if she did seem a bit ‘lost’. A lot of the time it seemed as though she was doing mundane things because it was, and has been, her routine for so many years, as though she was afraid of doing anything differently.
The more the storyline unfolded, the more I fell in love with the story. Without giving too much away, there was a point in the storyline where I felt like the characters stresses were lifted; it was such a beautiful and calming moment. Daft eh? My most favourite part of the whole book, was feeling the sense of unity jump off the page and into my soul, thanks to Ava going with her heart and Rory realising that the memories in Spain are there to be….remembered.
‘The Summerhouse by the Sea’ really is a sunny, heart-warming, and thought-provoking read which focuses on the emotional value of memories, loved ones, and the present. Jenny Oliver really has written the perfect summery novel, her words are full of poignancy, emotion and love, it would be quite difficult NOT to fall in love with this storyline.
Pack this novel in your case for your summer holiday! Or, if you’re going to be rocking the stay-cation this year; grab a towel, lay it down in your garden alongside a colourful drink (and this book). Then, lay down and let your mind take you on a trip to sunny Spain, courtesy of the extraordinary, Jenny Oliver. I really did enjoy this book (even if Rory still needs to get in my good books)!
The Summerhouse by the Sea by Jenny Oliver, is available to buy now from Amazon UK