A Home in Sunset Bay
by Rebecca Pugh
Publishing Date: 9th February 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
Buy the Book: Kindle
There’s no place like home…
Enough is enough! The always perfect Laurie Chapman had jumped in her car and raced as fast as she could from London heading to Sunset Bay and (she hopes!) the open arms of her estranged sister…
Mia Chapman loves running Dolly’s Diner in the picture-perfect coastal Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Now that her and Grandma Dolly’s dream is finally a reality Mia has never been prouder! Until Laurie suddenly turns up on her doorstep… How can she forgive the sister who walked away?
Once upon a time Mia and Laurie were best friends. Back together after so long, the time has come for the sisters to figure out what went so wrong all those years ago – and whether they can ever put it right!
As I haven’t read Rebecca Pugh’s debut novel „Return to Bluebell Hill” yet (and „yet” is an operative word), I was waiting for her second book, „A Home in Sunset Bay”, with great anticipation. And when I started reading it, I was immediately in love with the writing style – it was beautiful! I totally enjoy reading Rebecca’s reviews, they are always so colourful and eloquent, but the way she has with words in her novel, it just blown me away – really. Such vivid, colourful descriptions – I didn’t have a problem to picture this all in my mind.
Nevertheless, descriptions here or there, and as beautiful as they were, very quickly I started to think, great, but where is the story? Don’t get me wrong, but I had the feeling that the author concentrated hard on everything in between but not on the plot. At first I was hooked, I was intrigued, I fell in love with the place but then I started to miss some twists, turns and action. It also wasn’t a very complex story – when something happened, it took place in one chapter: it started there and found its solution, the subplots didn’t connect with each other, and didn’t continue, and all the actions led to a very predictable climax and a very happy, Disney – like end. It’s that I only think that the things could have been more developed, more explored.
Apart from wonderful setting – I loved Sunset Bay, with its shops and Dolly’s Diner, the author has managed to give it a spirit and capture this wonderful, exceptional atmosphere of a little town – there were some great characters. Mia runs Dolly’s Diner that she inherited from her grandmother, and I could easily picture her in a polka – dot dress, with a red vintage lipstick, putting a strawberry – shake on the table in front of you. Her older sister Laurie lives in London, has a great job and a boyfriend, but then suddenly everything changes and Laurie flees to Sunset Bay, looking for comfort and understanding in her sister’s arms – but there is a history to the sisters. Will they manage to rebuild their old relationship?
The characters were changing throughout the story, they were dynamic, growing and developing, especially Laurie, and I really liked to see it. I think she was my favourite character in this novel, because even though for a long time she lived a life that she wasn’t happy with, when she tried to please all other people and not herself, she finally grew a bone and I really liked to see the process of her growing this bone, breaking free.
The author has brilliantly captured the difference between the sisters’ lives – one feeling trapped, the other living life she always wanted – no need to tell which of the girls was happier, right? This book was much more than just a little romance – it was about forgiveness and unconditional love between sisters. It was sweet and charming, with a feel – good factor, and I also found a message there – just do what makes you happy and you’ll find your own way and own place in the world. It’s written in exceptionally beautiful, descriptive way and it made me feel good deep at heart.