Book Reviews

A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

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List Price: £12.99


Paperback: 368 Pages.

Published: 11 February 2016 by Century

ISBN: 1780890869

EAN: 9781780890869

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?


3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Anne

Needed more tension

Emily is a midwife fighting for women's opportunities to have the childbirth they want rather than for it all to be medicalised. After an unfortunate incident she perceives that the local GP doesn't support her and she wants to get away so she replaces her pregnant friend on a travelling steamer around the Scottish islands for the summer - she will be the cook, although I didn't quite gather when she obtained the food hygiene certificate and appropriate health and safety training for the marine life that I thought that she would have needed. Taking a major role on the boat introduces her to lots of tourists and she becomes involved in their lives. She also has an unfriendly colleague and an attractive GP to contend with.

This is pleasant enough stuff but I felt that it was all very bland. Emily never really has any major problems. The situation in her midwife's practice resolves itself without any effort on her behalf, her problems with her shipmate Billie just seem to fizzle out, other issues with passengers seem to be resolved fairly instantly once she appears, and when she has to make a decision about what she will do long-term with her life a solution comes immediately to hand. There is no tension here - her relationship with Alistair moves along nicely (he doesn't appear to have any definite character) and the happy ever after ending we have been expecting from the beginning is nice enough although it arrives with no surprises.

I have to say that this is a novel that seems to be written to formula and to to be designed to appeal to as many people as possible. Sadly, I wanted more - I wanted a bit of real tension or a situation which took a bit of resolving, or a character who was more edgy. I have read books by this author when those have been present but this book didn't have enough for my tastes.

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