Book review: Letters from Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamara

4 Oct

letters from lighthouseThe sun is shining in the quiet little seaside town of Sandybridge

Sandybridge is the perfect English seaside town: home to gift shops, tea rooms and a fabulous fish and chip shop. And it’s home to Grace – although right now, she’s not too happy about it.

Grace grew up in Sandybridge, helping her parents sort junk from vintage treasures, but she always longed to escape to a bigger world. And she made it, travelling the world for her job, falling in love and starting a family. So why is she back in the tiny seaside town she’d long left behind, hanging out with Charlie, the boy who became her best friend when they were teenagers?

It turns out that travelling the world may not have been exactly what Grace needed to do. Perhaps everything she wanted has always been at home – after all, they do say that’s where the heart is…

I’ve read every single one of Ali McNamara’s books and enjoyed them all but her last book, The Little Flower Shop by the Sea and the summer release Letters From Lighthouse Cottage have become favourites because of their lovely seaside locations. Letters From Lighthouse Cottage is set on the Norfolk coast and although the actual town in the book is fictional, it has made me want to visit the coast there soon!

Letters From Lighthouse Cottage also ticks the boxes for me as it features a little bit of magic! Grace  discovers and old typewriter when she is helping her parents to clear out Light house Cottage as a teenager. There’s a sweet and slightly mysterious note addressed to her and she christens the typewriter Remy and takes it home with her. From that point forward Remy gives Grace advice in the form of letters. The thing that surprised me about this novel was that Remy’s advice sometimes strayed into difficult events and seemed to have outcomes that weren’t entirely happy and it added a complexity and plenty of emotion to the book to see how Grace coped with the sometimes life changing events that were thrown at her.

Ali is a big fan of the 1980s and her depictions of growing up that era are spot on – I loved the little references to music, film, fashion and foods that brought my own teenage memories back and made me smile. Grace is just trying to fit in and its at this time that she meets the two men who will have a big influence on her life; Charlie and Danny. Charlie and Danny are great contrasts and at different times in the book I was rooting for each of them. Ali is skilled at weaving romantic story lines that keep the reader guessing and it was fun watching Grace grow up and finding out what happened to her and her friends next.

Letters from Lighthouse Cottage is another lovely read from Ali. I loved that it wasn’t a predictable story and the element of magic. This is a book full of heart that examines what ‘home’ really means and how our choices define us. A great book to curl up with this Autumn!

4/5

Find out more about Ali and her writing at: http://www.alimcnamara.co.uk/

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