Bring Me Sunshine by Laura Kemp
Publishing Date: 27th June 2019
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 432
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
Charlotte Bold is nothing like her name – she is shy and timid and just wants a quiet life. When her job doing the traffic news on the radio in London is relocated to Sunshine FM in Mumbles, she jumps at the chance for a new start in Wales.
But when she arrives she discovers that she’s not there to do the travel news – she’s there to front the graveyard evening show. And she’s not sure she can do it.
Thrust into the limelight, she must find her voice and a way to cope. And soon she realises that she’s not the only person who finds life hard – out there her listeners are lonely too. And her show is the one keeping them going.
Can Charlotte seize the day and make the most of her new home? And will she be able to breathe new life into the tiny radio station too…?
Charlotte Bold is one for planning and structure, spontaneous doesn’t work in her dictionary. She’s rather happy with her quiet life in London, with her traffic updates radio job, her friends and her boyfriend. Maybe, but only maybe, it could be a little much better if she could get over her fear of speaking on the radio – a bit embarrassing, working on the radio, no? And she used to be a rising star, and she used to have ambitions. So what has happened? And what’s going to happen when suddenly she loses her safe job and has to apply for another position in Sunshine FM in Wales? And what if it’s a DJ job, with an evening show, even though Charlie is sure she has applied to be an assistant?
“Bring Me Sunshine” for sure brings you sunshine, it’s fabulously uplifting, with living and breathing characters, whose stories are going to stop you in your tracks, mixing humour with some more poignant moments.
I absolutely loved how well the author has written the characters, the differences between them and their personalities, and how they changed and why. Charlie used to be a life and soul, adventurous and quirky, but after something has happened she disappeared in her shell, she hates change – hell, she eats the same sandwich everyday! – and she simply wants to stay in the shadows, and I couldn’t get over how well Laura Kemp captured all those feelings and characteristics, and still made Charlie a colourful, interesting character that I adored and kept everything crossed for her. Usually such wishy – washy characters (and that doesn’t mean that Charlie is wishy – washy!!! Because she’s not!) that are afraid of their own shadows are annoying but this time I wanted to hug Charlie and tell her that everything is going to be OK soon and I found myself nodding along at so many wise sentences at how being in such a state of denial makes us feel.
And I loved that, deep deep down, there were hidden layers of determination and willingness in Charlie, and that she found the courage to use them. Or maybe, that she was forced to use them – a fact that, actually, made me happy for her because she needed her confidence back. There was a raw vulnerability to her, the anxiety and anguish were so well captured, but getting to know her other side, as a kind, lovely and caring woman was even better. She was real and realistic, with all the inner turmoil, coming out of her comfort zones, conquering her fears.
There are also two parallel storylines running along this of Charlie. Delme, at the first sight, looks like your relaxed guy with bravado, but when you get to know him more you start to see that he has a past, that he has skeletons in his closet and actually, his story is like emotional rollercoaster journey, and that he is, simply, hiding behind the mask of a crazy gung – ho way of life. He is the health and safety guy at the station and it’s rather a surprise to discover that he also has his own fears. It took some time for him to open up. He also seems so realistic, with his struggles and not being a superman.
Tina’s story was really full of heartbreak, lies and secrets, so complex and absolutely not straightforward. I liked her from the very beginning, so seeing her so torn, not knowing what to do, made my heart break, but then the way she blossomed made it mend again.
Every single character in this book has their own story to tell, and those are thought – provoking and complex stories, which only make them even more relatable and believable.
I’m not sure how Laura Kemp does it, but each of her new book is better than the previous one. I thought that “The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness” is already on the highest level but with this book she only proves that there is so much potential in her to write gorgeous stories. Her writing style is exceptionally good, chatty, descriptive and full of heart and everything she writes about rings true and comes alive seamlessly and beautifully. I was immediately drawn into the story and all the tribes and tribulations of the characters, and there were plenty of them.
“Bring Me Sunshine” is a story about finding joy and seeing that we also deserve happiness in our lives. It was full of those small wisdoms that the author so beautifully captures and puts into words for us and waves into the plot. It was a fun, light – hearted story with tons of depth to it, a real page – turner. Fresh and funny, a perfect summer read, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
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