Simply loved yet another Jenny Colgan story. I have been to Scotland and the Outer Hebridies and Jenny's ficticious Island of Mure is so like the real thing. Her beautiful descriptions of the Island and the people that live there are a wonderful setting for her main character - Flora. I love, love LOVED it and recommend that everyone else reads and loves this book too.
I was enthralled by the characters. Flora is almost a lost soul, drowning in a city and Joel so scarred I almost cried. It has a magic that made me read it all in one night. On my iPhone! Please read this book, it will make you happy.
Flora MacKenzie thought she had escaped Mure, the remote Scottish island where she grew up. She's happy with her flat share in London, her job as a paralegal, and her hopeless crush on her boss, Joel. So when a wealthy American businessman approaches her firm for help with his development on Mure, she's not thrilled at the idea of returning.
Life on the island hasn't changed much. Her father and brothers work hard on the family dairy farm, the fishing boats go out and come back as they always did, but there are signs of things going downhill. There are a few empty shops and the school's enrolments are lower each year. More young people are, like Flora, leaving the island and not coming back.
Colton Rogers is a rich American with a vision. It's to save the island of Mure and restore The Rock to its full splendour. But when the locals want to put in a wind farm and spoil his pristine view, he enlists Flora's help to get them onside. If only he knew she wasn't the most popular person on the island.
Joel is a workaholic with a string of gorgeous blonde women trailing in his wake. That's all he wants, or needs.
Fintan is one of Flora's brothers, and the others give him a hard time for shirking his responsibilities on the farm. Fintan has a secret, or two, and doesn't want to spend the rest of his life milking cows.
Returning to Mure forces Flora to face what she's lost, what she wants, and where she needs to be.
The Summer Seaside Kitchen is the latest in a string of Jenny Colgan books which have a food theme at their centre, and like several of the others, it features recipes in the back of the book. Flora's story progresses along fairly predictable lines. There are two possible love interests, but her relationship with her father, and one of her brothers in particular, is as much of a focus as her love life. The fictional island of Mure is a charming place which provides a compelling backdrop to the story.
This is a light, comfortable summer beach read with a few deeper moments, and it will definitely make you hungry both for food and to visit Scotland.
This review originally appeared on readinglark.blogspot.com and I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.