A Seagull Summer
(Season by the Sea, Book 2)
By Jane Lovering
Romantic, funny, and painfully honest.
Book review, no spoilers I swear!!
Published: Farrago, 6th August 2020 in both ebook & paperback.
I would like to firstly say thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an advance copy in return for an honest review.
I loved this book, it is the second instalment in Jane Lovering's season by the sea collection. The first (Christmas Secrets by the Sea) is equality as good and introduces you into the world of Dorset. However, you do not need to read the first book to understand the second. Although if you do, you will be in store for some returning characters that make an appearance in this second book. Before I go on, perhaps I should give you an idea of what the book is actually about.
Summer by the sea – a time to spread your wings, right?
Leah has come to Dorset to collect seaweed samples for a nutrition research project. She's trying to leave behind a disastrous family life, and is haunted by the death of her best friend, Claire, on whom she relied for advice.
Here she meets Brendon, an Australian come to search for his mysteriously-vanished-from-the-family great grandfather. Brendon has discovered a fear of British seagulls, particularly Roger, a hand-reared bird which has taken a liking to Leah. As Leah and Brendon form a summer friendship, their pasts catch up with them. But together they help each other to see beyond the narrow confines and mistakes of the past.
The Seasons by the Sea series combines laugh-out-loud humour with damaged people redeemed by love.
Jane Lovering has the ability to use romance and humour to create a story that is real and honest in so many ways that you feel a connection of realism to the characters and what they are going through. This was how I felt throughout this book.
Leah is a 'damaged' character who has been through a tough time and her far from normal childhood has caused her to be out of touch with social situations and reading people, coming across as a 'robot'. What I liked about Leah's character was how flawed she was, the mistakes of her past and her unwillingness to stand up for herself and live the life she wants without guilt. Having a similar relationship to my mum and my younger brother like Leah does with her family was what made me fall in love with this book. Without giving anything away, the relationship and how Leah feels about her mum is exactly how I feel and to read about a character going through it was ever so painfully real.
Brendon is another well written character who as a past full of mistakes but instead of punishing himself over it, he is a positive, easy going bloke who is just the thing to turn Leah's life into something worth living. Brendon is also the supportive and loving guy who helps Leah to realise that there is nothing wrong with being yourself. A lesson that all of us should take note of, why be someone else when you can be yourself.
Although I found this novel hard to read, what with it being a slow romance, I still enjoyed it and thought that it was a great follow up to the series. It's funny, full of love and a shows how no matter what happens in the past, it doesn't have to get in the way of your living. In fact you should follow what you want from life and take the plunge.
The side characters and sub plots work great with the main story with a very cheeky seagull, Roger who I found highly entertaining.
Overall a great read with plenty of content and a few home truths about relationships between mothers and daughters which gave it a realistic and honest insight with plenty of humour and laughs to create a well balanced novel. This is a book that will leave you smiling, full of warmth and love with an ending that leaves you to an open interpretation, one that makes sense and left me feeling pleased and happy.
Rating: 4* out of 5. I enjoyed this second novel, and can't wait to see what awaits.
After all tomorrow is another day spent reading,
Till next time,
P.S. All views are my own.
A Seagull Summer is available to pre-order in both ebook and paperback on Amazon.
If you want to read the first then Christmas Secrets by the Sea is also available to buy over Amazon in both ebook and paperback now!