Monday, 20 July 2015

Review: The Little Flower Shop by the Sea by Ali McNamara

Publication Date: July 30th 2015
Publisher: Sphere/Little Brown Book Group
Length: 432 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Sphere/Little Brown Book Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Poppy Carmichael, 30, certainly never intended to own a florist. But when she inherits her grandmother's beloved flower shop on the beautiful Cornish coast, Poppy has no choice but to return to the pretty harbour town of St Felix where she spent much of her childhood.
Returning to St Felix brings back sad memories for Poppy. But when she makes new friends such as local flower grower Jake, a young widowed father of two teenagers, Poppy begins to overcome her fears, and discover for herself what's so special about this little flower shop by the sea.

I love Ali McNamara’s books. They’re always light, (but not just filled with fluff) with some brilliant plots, wonderful characters and fantastic romances. I don’t think anything will ever beat the brilliance of ‘From Notting Hill with Love… Actually’ for me, but ‘The Little Flower Shop by the Sea’ comes a very close second.

I loved Poppy, from her grumpy snarky attitude to her Doc Martins and black clothes. She’s offset brilliantly by Amber and the two of them make a really fantastic team. The whole cast of characters work beautifully together to create a wonderful cohesive whole that draws you in and really feels like you’re in St Felix yourself surrounded by these welcoming people.

And what a place St Felix is. Reading this had me longing for the sea, to burrow away in a quite cottage on the coast and go for long walks on the cliffs and the sand. The setting is wonderful and Ali has really captured it and made St Felix feel real. I loved opening the book and falling back into the town.

The plot ticks along nicely. It’s got enough twists and turns to keep you hooked and guessing, a really lovely romance that putters along in the background and some really great character arcs. It really feels like you disappear for a summer into the town and experience the highs and the lows and intrigues of life there. It’s a perfect summer read and I’ve found myself longing to go back there well after I finished the book and moved onto the next one.

My only issue was that sometimes the dialogue felt a little bit unrealistic and a bit too much like a chance to info-dump lots of feelings and information. However whilst that was frustrating, it didn’t really impede my enjoyment of the book too much.

This is the perfect summer read, with just the right blend of romance and a gorgeous setting to create a wonderful story that I loved sinking into. The only problem is that it’s made me miss the sea and want to spend a few weeks in St Felix myself!

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