The Summer Seaside Kitchen

The Summer Seaside KitchenThe Summer Seaside Kitchen
by Jenny Colgan
Rating: ★★★½
isbn: 9780751564808
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Pages: 419
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Sphere

Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish island where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. What was there for her on Mure? It's a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel.
When a new client demands Flora's presence back on Mure, she's suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour, she's also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes - and work out exactly where her future lies...

I don’t know what to say about this book; it’s unlike the other books I’ve read by Colgan, and a much more straightforward romance.  The plot premise is implausible, at best, and the titular kitchen isn’t even hinted at before the halfway mark.  But it takes place on a fictional northern island off the coast of Scotland, and the romance is a slllooowww burn, so I coped, and was pleasantly diverted by the wonderful atmosphere, obviously written by someone who loves their home country.

But this was not as tightly written a story as it could have been, and felt like it was trying to tackle way too much in one book.  Flora’s baggage, Joel’s baggage, Fintan’s baggage – there was just an awful lot of baggage, leaving the important impediments only glossed over here and there.  When things started to come together, they came together well, but at 400+ pages, the atmosphere carried me more than a time or two over some rough, and possibly extraneous, bits of story that ordinarily would have left me bored.

While I’d happily love to read another of her books set on Mure, this wasn’t as good as the others of her books I’ve read.  Still it was a nice mental holiday.

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