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Publisher: 11 February 2016 by Random House UK, Cornerstone Digital
Pages: 368 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, romance, chick lit
My Rating: 4 crowns
Emily is happy with her life just as it is.
She has a career as a midwife that she loves . She enjoys living on her own as a single woman. But she’s also feels it’s time for a change and a spot of some sea air.
So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she’d like to spend the summer cooking on a ‘puffer’ boat just off the Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance.
But she barely has time to get to grips with the galley before she finds herself with a lot on her plate.
Rebecca is heavily pregnant and is thrilled to have her friend on board doing most of the work. Then there’s Emily’s competitive and jealous kitchen assistant who thinks she should be head-cook, not Emily.
And there’s Alasdair, the handsome local doctor who Emily is desperately trying not to notice.
Because if she falls in love with him, as he appears to be falling for her, will she ever want her old life back again?
Katie Fford does wonderful chick lit, you are guaranteed refreshing escapism. This story is particularly engaging and a good introduction to those who may be new to her style of writing. Fford's stories are heart-warming, tackle real life issues and often set against interesting back drops. On this occasion, the spotlight is on Scotland and the scenic descriptions make it a place you would long to visit.
I found Emily, the main character, to be strong and directed, something many women could relate to. She knows what makes her happy and fulfilled, whilst being caring and considerate at the same time. She makes this story real and relatable.
"I just want to stay single, living on my own, pleasing myself".
Then there are the many secondary characters who add much to this Scottish tale. Fford does a wonderful job in creating a real sense of community that makes this a relatable book for many, or at the very least, a community of people you would love to become a part of.
The puffer boat added a unique component, not to mention the many mouth watering culinary dishes included throughout. And for all you knitters out there, you will love all the references and bonding over needles and wool:
"Fair Isle wool would be too scratchy for a baby anyway".
This is chick lit so there is nothing too taxing for the brain, just a lovely tale with great characters, set in a wonderful location. You know where it's going but you are happy to take that journey. My only complaint concerns a couple of things. One, Emily's BFF continually repeating her need for Emily to stay became a bit tiresome. Then towards the end there is an argument that I was disappointed by, as I found it a bit ridiculous in my humble opinion. However I did not want it to detract from what I felt, overall, was a good bit of escapism. Besides, there was reference to lots of tea drinking, something this tea lover did whilst reading another Fford winner.
"I'd never get back to sleep after what you told me so I thought: tea!"
I like Katie Fford's books: they are engaging, easy to read and flow well. I think A Summer At Sea is an entertaining and romantic read that I recommend to those in need of a light hearted weekend escape.