Oh my goodness – FINALLY it’s my turn to host Christie Barlow and ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’! On all of the other tour stops I have been sitting thinking to myself ‘the lucky beggars!’, whilst working out how I am actually going to word my blog post without continuously saying the same word. Trust me, it’s difficult. Now, I think I have managed to arrange my views into structured sentences, however, please don’t hold it against me if I do end up saying the same word over, and over, and over again…
Welcome to the Little Rock marina – where hearts are healed and dreams are made…
For the last two years Nell Andrews has been struggling to stay afloat. As her life tumbled down around her, the only safety net has been her cosy canal boat, The Nollie. Tucked away inside, Nell has found a place to heal her broken heart. And now she’s ready to move on and follow her dream…
Gorgeous Guy Cornish, with his easy Irish charm, makes him an instant hit with everyone at the marina, and the perfect person to help Nell with her project. But Guy has his own reasons for being at the marina, and a past that threatens to sink Nell’s dream…
What does TWG think?
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!! What a prologue!!!! I have never, ever read such a captivating, intriguing, and more-ish prologue before…until now. I’m not even overreacting – it really is THAT good.
Having read Christie Barlow’s previous novel (Evie’s Year of Taking Chances) and personally dubbing it as my most favourite book that she has written, Christie Barlow had unknowingly set the bar for her new novel extremely high.
In ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’, we follow the life of Nell Andrews – a character whose life has had more emotional turbulence than an episode of Eastenders. It didn’t take me long to form a connection with Nell as I found her to be such a warming and genuine character, who was screaming out to be loved and understood.
A Christie Barlow novel wouldn’t be complete without a bit of eye-candy. Well helloooooo Mr.Guy! Whilst he certainly made his presence known, the storyline wasn’t governed by his flirtatious nature or the attraction between himself and Nell. Don’t get me wrong, Guy was a large part of the overall storyline, yet he wasn’t the main focus. In my opinion, the way in which Christie Barlow puts romance in the storyline as an addition to it as opposed to the main focus, is what makes her stand out as an author. Christie Barlow gives the main character a voice and a start to their journey before she introduces a love-match to the mix. I love reading chic-lit/romance novels but, seeing as I am the most unromantic person ever, having love stories eased into the storyline at a comfortable pace suits me down to the ground. I also LOVE how kick-ass Christie Barlow’s protagonists are! Such independent, self-aware, fiery characters who end up becoming one of my literary role models long before the end of the book.
Romance aside, ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ contains a lot more than a lovers happy ever after. Obviously I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll be as vague as I can, but, Nell Andrews has her heart set on a new life. As far as Nell is concerned, she’s done all of her homework, put pen to paper and created a plan – all without trying to think too much with her heart and less with her brain. As we all know with dreams, they can take a heck of a lot of blood, sweat and tears before showing signs of coming true, and unfortunately Nell learns that the hard way. Luckily for us readers though, Nell’s situation is enough to stop you in your tracks, leaving your mouth wide enough to catch flies. Did I see it coming? Did I heck! Did it leave my mouth open wide enough to catch flies? It was open wide, yes. As for the flies it was a close call!
If you could get paper cuts from a kindle, I should be covered in them now from changing the pages of this book rather quickly. I’d be lying if I said that I could put this book down. I would also be lying if I said that I wanted to put it down! Errrrrrrr no. I had to physically prise my kindle out of my own hands once the book had finished.
I loved the depth of this book as the author had managed to fill the storyline with so many entwining situations, yet merged them utterly seamlessly. Everything just flowed, and every single character had a right to be there (and no, I actually didn’t dislike any of the characters either!).
So, what DOES TWG think? It’s safe to say that ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ stole my heart and never gave it back. I fell in love with the setting. The characters. The overall feel of the book. Just…everything. Full of emotion, heart-warming moments, and envious friendships, ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ for me, ticked every single box and then some. It takes a really special author to be able to make you laugh and well up, both at the same time, yet Christie Barlow managed it yet again. I really have no idea how she does it, but she does.
I loved this book with all of my heart, and I truly feel that ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ is Christie Barlow’s best book yet. Such a phenomenal and beautifully written novel.
‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ is full of joy, making memories, true friendships, and dreams – the perfect combination for a Christie Barlow novel. Once again the author has set the bar for her next novel extremely high, and once again I cannot WAIT to see what Christie Barlow comes up with next.
One of my most favourite authors of all time – without a doubt.
Huge thanks to the author and HarperImpulse.