I’m a creature of habit – my ideal chick-lit settings are the festive season, or summer (my favourite times of year, go figure!) So when I spotted Katie Fforde’s A Summer at Sea nestled on the bookshelves I instantly scooped it up.
The cover is particularly pleasing – a cheerful blue, and yellow affair adorned with bunting and a brightly-coloured seaside town. The book didn’t disappoint, taking me on board a puffer board in the Western Isles of Scotland – a bit of a change from the usual chick-lit seaside town and café fodder!
The beautiful Scottish coast made for a cosy setting with great characters leading to a real community feel throughout the book. This is the first novel by Fforde I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll be looking out for more of her books.
Emily Bailey is tempted by the notion of a ‘sea change’ when best friend Rebecca asks her to spend the summer cooking on her puffer boat off the Scottish coast.
She takes a sabbatical from her job as a midwife and country life in the Cotswolds to take her up on the offer. Of course, it’s not all plain sailing as she deals with a jealous kitchen assistant and falls for the handsome local doctor.
Emily finds herself at a crossroads – caught between her old life and her new one as she must decide what to do. A lovely escape into the picturesque village of Crinan, next to the sparkling blue Scottish sea that gets under Emily’s skin – and into her heart.
I enjoyed Emily’s character – she was likeable and relatable right from the stat of the novel. She is quite strong-willed in her work as a midwife, to the point we get the sense she has neglected her own personal life to throw herself into work.
When she takes a hiatus from the life she knows and loves to help out pregnant friend Rebecca, we are cheering for her for finally doing something for herself.
And of course, I was thrilled when a sexy local doctor is thrown in her path. As Emily adapts to life on board, her character develops and grows.
FForde takes us on a pleasant journey with her heroine, showing us that opportunities in life should be grabbed with both hands.
This is a good summer read – perfect escapism for the beach or pool. I wasn’t riveted by the plot, but some good-natured characters and a lovely setting compensated.
Alasdair was a great love interest as the handsome single-dad and doctor (just a trifecta of swoon-worthiness right there!)
There were also great supporting characters – notably Maisie, the old lady who teaches Emily fair isle knitting and Alasdair’s daughter Kate – an outspoken and wise little girl.
I enjoyed the setting of the puffer boat and Scottish scenery with some nice rugged, highland scenes. Emily’s job as a midwife, then cook, a nice change from the ‘sexy’ jobs we usually encounter in chick-lit.
A predictable but pleasing feel-good romance. A Summer at Sea is easy to read with some light humour and a romance that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
“She took a few moments to relish the sight of the harbour, full of boats of all sizes, but dominated by the puffer. A few small white houses flanked the hotel, which must have the best views in the world, and a thread of mist trailed across the masts of the boat like a chiffon scarf.” Katie FForde – A Summer at Sea
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