Audio book review: High Tide by Veronica Henry

23 Jun

high tide audioReturning to Penfleet after years in New York, Kate can’t help but feel a pang of affection for the little town by the sea where she grew up. If only she were returning in happier circumstances. This last trip is full of farewells: to her childhood home, her once best friend and the life she left behind.

Kissing the widow of the richest man in town wasn’t one of Nathan’s best ideas. Now he can’t get Vanessa out his mind. Skippering his grandfather’s boat on picnic cruises up and down the river, Nathan wonders if it’s time to move on. Small towns can be dangerous places if you’re in the middle of a scandal.

Her husband’s death has left Vanessa unsure what her role should be. After years of playing the part of a trophy wife, she can finally think about what she wants for a change.

Sam moved to Penfleet to raise his boys following the death of his wife. His deli has become the place where locals pour out their troubles and swap gossip, but amidst all the banter and laughter, has anyone stopped to notice what’s troubling Sam recently?

In the narrow, cobbled streets that lead down to the harbour, the inhabitants of Penfleet live out their hopes and dreams.

I’m a big fan of Veronica Henry’s books but had never listened to one in audio format so when the audio of High Tide popped up on Audible’s deal of the day a few weeks ago, I downloaded it. I do enjoy sitting back and listening to a story as an audiobook and this story in particular lends itself to curling up somewhere cosy for a rainy afternoon.

The story is set in the fictional seaside town of Penfleet in Cornwall. Unusually for a seaside setting, the story starts at my favourite time of year – autumn. I really enjoyed Veronica’s descriptions of the town and coast after the summer rush and reading this book felt like taking a look behind the scenes into the real life of the town (not the one that the tourists see!) Leading lady Kate has a foot in both camps; she’s an super-efficient events planner now living in New York but she was born and grew up in Penfleet and has fond memories and close connections to the town but having been away for a number of years can also see it as outsiders do.

Kate returns to Penfleet following the death of her Mum, who was by all accounts a very much loved member of the community. The initial contrast between the life Kate is used to and the sleepiness of Penfleet is stark but Kate really needs an escape from the rat race and time to heal and Penfleet gives her that. As someone who grew up by the sea and now lives on the outskirts of the capital, I could very much see the appeal of Penfleet – listening to High Tide had me wishing I could pack my bags and move back to the coast!

Moving on after bereavement is a big theme in the novel but despite being very poignant, High Tide isn’t a sad novel – in fact it’s all about new beginnings. Sam moved to Penfleet with his teenage son and daughter for a new start following the death of this wife. Veronica writes beautifully of Sam’s relationship with his wide and also of his relationship with his children. Dad’s often get short shrift in novels but in Sam, Veronica has created such a lovely caring Dad- I was really hoping he’d find a happy ending.

Finally we meet Vanessa whose wealthy business man husband has also recently passed away. Vanessa is now unsure what to do with her life and I enjoyed the turns her story took. As with Veronica’s novels like The Beach Hut, I enjoyed the snapshots into the different characters and families lives and as I listened I found myself trying to guess who would end up with who and how the stories would come together. With past loves, new romances, firendships and business ventures, Veronica skilfully weaves a seaside soap opera that had me hooked. I didn’t want to leave Penfleet and I very much hope Veronica allows us to visit again soon!

4/5

High Tide is out now in paperback, ebook and audio formats. Veronica’s new novel, How To Find Love in a Book Shop has just been released in Hardback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Veronica and her writing at: http://www.veronicahenry.co.uk/

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