This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Susan Lobban
The small Cornish seaside town on Trevay prides itself on being a escape from the hustle and bustle of London. So when large coffee conglomerate, Cafe au Lait, threatens to take over an old dilapidated theatre building in the centre of town, the local residents are up in arms.
Penny Leighton is not your typical vicar’s wife, so she doesn’t take much persuading to revert back to her highly organised TV producer ways. She goes through her book of contacts to see which celebrities she can pull out of the hat to help the town’s cause. Together with the small community of local volunteers, she is determined to foil Cafe au Lait’s plans and put their local theatre back in the spotlight.
Celebrities start to flock to Trevay, by invitation and by chance, in order to resurrect both the theatre and perhaps their own careers.
I have never been to Cornwall, but for some reason it is one of my favourite places to escape to in the summer by way of a book. The cover alone had me in a sunny mood before I even read one page.
This is the first Fern Britton book I have read, but I presumed from the beginning of the book that the local characters are ones that long-time readers will have met before, as past events are mentioned. However, fret not, none of this was important, as a much more imminent crisis is due to take over everyone’s time and efforts – a large coffee chain is daring to invade seaside life by bringing its wares to Trevay where they are not welcome. As each celebrity character is introduced, you wonder what they have to do with the story, but then all is made clear when they are invited by Penny to help the town’s plight or, even more interestingly, end up in Trevay by total chance.The two main romantic interests are both minor celebrities – their star status has risen by being involved with uber celebrities. By moving to Trevay for the summer season, however, they may finally be able to come out of their celebrity partners’ shadows. I thought it was a nice touch in that both Ollie and Jess were in similar situations, which unwittingly bring them closer together. When reading about some of the celebrity antics, I wholly believe that not all of this was fiction and was in fact based on some of what the author Fern Britton must have seen in her years of being around celebrity divas.
A Seaside Affair is an easy breezy read with a riveting mix of sun, sea and showbiz. I will definitely be looking out for Fern’s back catalogue in order to get away to her slice of Cornwall again.