Debut author Jen Mouat is on the blog today and bringing a story filled with going home to find a new direction. Please read on for my review of
Summer at Bluebell Bank
I’ve had some wonderful debut releases this year, so I was hoping Jen Mouat would carry on with that trend, and I have to say I was not disappointed. Not one to throw around comparisons to other authors, Mouat’s writing and storytelling does carry some of the heart, tone and emotional impact that the earlier works from Maeve Bnichy brought me: and yet there is an original take on a familiar theme: going home, finding a new path, forgiveness and growth that just resonates through this story in all the best ways.
From detailed and well-developed characters that could be your neighbor, sister, friend or even nemesis, Mouat fills the story with ambience and life, bringing unexpected twists, situations and choices that draw the reader in, struggling and empathizing right along with the characters. Kate and Emily epitomize a friendship that is closer than sisters, where you not only gain strength from one another, but neither is afraid to speak out before (or after) a bad choice.
A summer is never long enough to solve every issue, but Mouat uses key moments, daring choices and several unexpected twists to push, pull and prod the characters in new directions, stretching their own expectations and challenging their comfort in doing things as they always have been done because it is comfortable and known. Sweetly affirming, the ease with which the story unfolds draws readers in, and following Kate as she quietly (or not so) moves to recapture the sense of family she felt in Emily’s home during that one summer will leave you believing that with enough desire, determination and love – you can go home again and make things much better than you ever imagined.
A wonderful debut offering that is full of emotion, engaging and redolent of the seaside, a quiet bookshop and family: family is forever and this book shows just how wonderful forever can be.
Title: Summer at Bluebell Bank
Author: Jen Mouat
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Setting: Scotland
Published by: Harlequin UK
Published on: 2 August, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
‘This book had me captivated from the start…a really great read.’ The Reading Shed
Returning home is never smooth sailing…
Summoned by her childhood best friend, Kate Vincent doesn’t stop to think. Instead she books at one-way ticket from New York back to Wigtown, Scotland, leaving her glittering new life behind. Scenes of idyllic holidays at Bluebell Bank with the Cotton family dance in her mind, but not everything has stayed the way it once was… Especially when her first love, Luke, returns to town.
Emily Cotton never expected one email, sent off in a wine-fuelled daze, to bring her old friend barrelling through the front door of her dismally failing bookshop. But life for the Cottons isn’t what it once was; Emily’s brothers are hardly speaking, her beloved grandmother isn’t quite the same and Emily…well, Emily is the one most in need of Kate’s help.
Kate has given herself until the end of the summer to stay in Wigtown. Can she bring the Cottons back together, and save the family who once saved her?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: