It may be a dreary start to a brand new week, but today I have the pleasure of reviewing a book with a cover that will bring some well needed sunshine to your Monday. For my stop on Tracy Corbett’s blog tour, not only will I be bringing you a review of ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’, I will also be treating you to a little extract from the book itself, just to whet your appetite. What more could you want on a Monday? As always, huge thanks to Avon for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:
A summer to remember…
Charlotte Saunders has always loved the buzz of city life. So, when she finds herself abruptly fired, dumped and forced to leave London to move in with her sister Lauren in Cornwall, she thinks the world is ending.
To keep herself busy in the quiet coastal town, Charlotte agrees to help the local drama club. Designing sets for their performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, just for the summer, while she figures out her next career move. But could days at the beach, new friends and a dashingly handsome doctor, change Charlotte’s mind? Suddenly Cornwall doesn’t look so boring after all…
What does TWG think?
I wasn’t too surprised to see that this book was set in Cornwall, although my eyes did roll a little bit! Just to clarify, I don’t have anything against Cornwall – I have never physically been there! Thanks to the wonders of fiction however, I have maybe visited Cornwall once to twice….it certainly is a popular setting for books these days, that’s for sure!
Thankfully, whilst the setting was a big deal for the overall storyline, it didn’t overshadow the characters at all which I loved as they stood out a lot more. They were allowed to shine in various different ways and I must say, I was thoroughly entertained! ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’ does contain a lot of characters so if you can keep up with a bit of character switching, you really would adore this book! Sisters, Charlotte and Lauren, could not be more different. Both live such different lifestyles, and both have incredibly different views on how to live their live. Having lost the closeness of their relationship over the years, the sisters now have a chance to re-build those bridges and make up for lost time. It’s just a shame that people had to get ‘hurt’ in order for them to realise what they needed to do…
I genuinely thought this book was going to be light, fluffy and picturesque. Whilst the author nailed the latter no bother, I couldn’t help but be surprised when the storyline engulfed me in such turbulence and emotion. I didn’t see it coming at all but I loved how the dynamic of the storyline changed over the course of the novel.
Being a single mum myself, I had my pom poms out for Lauren from the get go! My heart couldn’t have felt more sorry for her if it had tried – it was such a shame to see her in such a predicament, especially when pride had gotten in the way to stop her from becoming embarrassed. Asking for help isn’t a bad thing, but for Lauren, asking for help would have been the most disastrous thing she had ever done. I LOVED Flo and Freddie, they had me in hysterics more than once and, despite being a work of fiction, I thought that Lauren had done a fantastic job bringing up two grounded, charismatic and loveable children, all whilst dealing with a situation which ended up removing parts of her own personality. Tracy Corbett is a star in my eyes for the way she has portrayed a single mum and I really do thank her for that.
As for the rest of the book – there was so much happening! I won’t divulge details, but ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’ really does have something for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about many colourful characters such as Barney Hubble and Dusty! They may seem like two people who don’t fit in, but I can assure you that the story wouldn’t have been the same without either of them.
Tracy Corbett had me giggling, sighing and feeling emotional, all thanks to her joyful and impassioned storyline which, despite having many laugh out loud moments, ended up highlighting such an important message. You only get one chance at life, why spend it doing something you hate? Why spend it living your life for other people? Why spend it feeling guilty for making decisions based on your own circumstances, rather than going along with someone else’s choices because they prefer it? Many of the characters in this book stepped out of their comfort zones by attempting new things, changing their ways, or by finally listening to their own intuition.
It may have been a ‘Summer Theatre by the Sea’, but it was a story which resonated with me and made me think. Such an enjoyable, heartfelt and cosy read – I highly recommend curling up with a cuppa, a bar of chocolate, and a dose of the ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’.
Buy now from Amazon
Barney Hubble leant against the iron railings and drew in a breath of salty air as he watched a fishing boat drag its nets from the water. There was nothing remarkable about this particular Tuesday evening in May, and yet the sight of the water sparkling under the fading daylight and the rush of waves ebbing and flowing over the sandy beach below, was strangely hypnotic. How different his life was now compared to back in London.
For a start, he walked everywhere. He’d never walked anywhere in London, other than endlessly marching up and down hospital corridors. And he swam most days, relishing the battle of challenging riptides and the exhilaration of diving into freezing-cold water, feeling his skin contract beneath his wetsuit. He was also able to indulge in his passion for music. He didn’t earn much from his gigs, but he enjoyed it and it made him feel alive … unlike when he’d worked on the hospital wards and he’d felt permanently dead.
As a kid, he’d learnt both guitar and piano at school before progressing to singing in bands. He’d never ventured into acting before, but last summer his housemates had coerced him into joining the local amateur dramatics group. Despite his initial reluctance, he’d discovered that it was a great way to make new friends and ingrain himself into the local community. Something he hadn’t even known he’d wanted, and certainly something he’d never experienced in London.
His parents had never been big fans of hobbies. It was all work, work, work, for Henry and Alexa Hubble. A philosophy they’d tried to instil into their son. Not that he was against hard work, he just wanted more from life. Maybe it was selfish, but specialising was his parents’ dream, not his. He’d given med school his all, but nothing had prepared him for the relentless onslaught of being a junior doctor.