Review: The Endless Beach

Tuesday, 10 December 2019
The Endless Beach The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mure and its inhabitants have stolen my heart!

After a bit of a slow start, I really warmed up to this story and its characters. Set on a beautiful Scottish island called Mure, it's everything you could ever want from a peaceful island existence. Being a remote island though, it's all about knowing your neighbours and it's clear that your neighbours clearly know all about you, as Flora and the other characters in the story can attest to!

Having not read the start of Joel and Flora's journey together, I did find it a little difficult to connect with Joel and felt that I was missing much from when he and Flora initially got together. This book starts with them having some relationship problems and this gave me the immediate impression that Joel was cold and dismissive of poor Flora and her feelings. By the end of the story, it became clear that I couldn't have been more wrong about Joel, I’m pleased to say.

This book came across a little disjointed initially because it has two, very distinct, storylines both of which packed a powerful punch. First, we have Joel and Flora, and the problems they are facing in connection to Joel's boss, Coltan, the man due to marry Flora's brother Fintan. Then, we have the story of Saif, the island's refugee GP and his long-lost children which he is reunited with. My interest in the two storylines seemed to lean towards Saif and his struggles with being reunited with his children and suddenly becoming a single father in a strange country rather than Joel and Flora's issues but all the characters stories come together towards the end of the book, thanks in part to the close-knit community of Mure.

This is the first book of the author's that I've read in a long time. I was expecting a fluffy chick-lit storyline but this was altogether something more. It was a more rounded storyline, it had depth, possibilities, struggles, drama, and heartbreak. After struggling to embrace the story initially, it left me in tears, both from sadness and happiness, by the book's conclusion.

All of the characters in the story were almost rendered insignificant though but one little girl: Agot. Her passion for life was palpable and the way she immediately bonded with Saif's son, Ash, was incredibly sweet. As was the way she responded to the pain and suffering experienced by other characters.

If the story isn't enough, readers are also rewarded with some of the delicious recipes mentioned during the storyline but once again, Agot stole the show with the last inclusion in the book - the loyalty card that she designed is proudly displayed on the last page.

All in all, this is a highly recommended story and one which will take you on an emotional ride through the highs and lows of the characters of the tiny island of Mure.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author, publisher and Netgalley prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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