This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
Evie can’t wait to become a mother to Walnut. Along with choosing a suitable name for her baby, Evie is struggling to relax. There’s just so much to do when you run a café with your husband. When doctor’s orders force her to take a step back, Evie struggles to accept her temporary replacement.
Helen and her husband have moved to Cornwall for a year to escape the pressures of their daily lives in the city but it isn’t working. Instead of feeling relaxed, Helen is bored. When she sees the position for a temporary manager at the Beach Café advertised, she can’t help herself. The only problem with the job is the woman she’s supposed to be covering. She just doesn’t seem to appreciate what she’s got and seems determined to undermine Helen at every step.
This is a quick-read novella by Lucy Diamond, that follows on from The Beach Café series so you may have met Evie and Ed Flynn before. The story picks up from the end of the novella, Christmas Gifts at the Beach Café, where Evie and Ed have just found out they are expecting their first child. The short chapters are written either in first person from Evie’s view or third when following Helen.
Both women are dealing with their own demons; Evie is worried about becoming a mother and letting her responsibilities within the café slip. She can’t visualize her life with a child in it. Helen is escaping from an event that happened at the pub she used to own and manage with her husband. When she takes an instant disliking to Evie and Evie feels the same way about her, they don’t get off to the best start. Instead of working together, the women seem determined to antagonise each other. Evie disagrees with any decisions made by Helen, seeing them as a criticism of her own previous work and Helen is determined to judge Evie for not appreciating her pregnancy.
I struggled to like Helen to begin with, and being familiar with Evie, I couldn’t help but take her side as I would with an old friend. I love the way Diamond has the ability to make me feel like that about her characters. However, as I learned more about Helen’s characters, I started to warm to her and become more curious about her. I felt that the main focus was on Evie, as readers would expect and hope for, but I would have liked to know more about Helen, a character I became quite fond of. Perhaps Diamond will return to her story in a later novel.
My only criticism would be unjust because this is a quick-read and advertised as such but I wanted more.
This is a short, sweet read that will only take a few hours to get through. A welcome return to one of my favourite fictional families!