Sunrise by the Sea

Sunrise by the SeaSunrise by the Sea
by Jenny Colgan
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780751580341
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
Pages: 356
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Sphere

When she is given the opportunity to move to a remote tidal island off the Cornish Coast, Marisa Rossi decides some peace and quiet might be just what she needs.

Since the death of her beloved grandfather back in Italy, she's been struggling to find a way out of her grief. Perhaps this will be the perfect place for her to recuperate.

But Mount Polbearne is a far cry from the sleepy little place she was imagining. Between her noisy piano-teaching Russian neighbour and the hustle and bustle of a busy community, Marisa finds solitude is not so easy to come by. Especially when she finds herself somehow involved with a tiny local bakery desperately in need of some new zest to save it . . .

Not at all the book I was expecting, but an interesting one.  There’s an “outro” at the end of the book by the author, explaining how it wasn’t quite the book she expected it to be either, and explains why.

Without spoiling the author’s attempt to avoid spoilers, I’ll just say this is a book about long-term grief and how it can turn into something altogether different and how Marisa finds her way out of it with the help of a small Cornish island.  Colgan addresses agoraphobia and how it tears Marisa away from her family and friends as she becomes ever increasingly isolated.  How her roommate kicks her out for being such a drag and she finds a home on a tidal island off the Cornish Coast that’s a perfect hideaway for Marisa, except for the Russian piano instructor living next door who teaches and practices all hours of the day and night.  Between the Russian, her therapist and her Nonna back in italy (the latter two converse with her via Skype/Zoom), she slowly finds ways to break the cycle of isolation and reconnect with people.

This is a book that manages to be neither perky nor heavy; respect is given to Marisa’s struggles without drowning the reader in it.  It’s light without being fluffy.  There’s obviously a back story with the secondary characters; I’m assuming this is part of a series that takes place on this island, but it never interfered, or left me feeling as though I missed something.  I’m guessing Sunrise by the Sea is marketed as a romance, but I’d argue against it.  There’s a romantic connection at then end but the rest of the book is about Marisa’s recovery with occasional side-forays into the financial struggles of Polly and Huckle (whom I’m assuming starred in a previous book).

An enjoyable read – not quite what I was looking for, but it held my attention nonetheless.

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