I’m excited to be a part of this weekend blitz for Jennifer Bohnet’s book The Little Kiosk By The Sea, today I have an amazing guest post, my review, and a fab giveaway, before that though here is what it’s all about…
One summer they’ll never forget…
Meet Sabine, desperately fighting to save her little kiosk from closure whilst turning down her friend Owen’s proposals, time and time again.
Cue Harriet, returning to Dartmouth after thirty years, haunted by the scandal that drove her away and shocked by a legacy that threatens her relationship with her journalist daughter.
Enter Rachel, the mysterious newcomer who has an unexpected chemistry with a local widower, and who sets in motion a chain of events she could never have predicted…
One thing’s for sure, as the autumn tide turns, there’ll be more than one secret laid bare!
First I will pass over to Jennifer for a wonderful and unexpected story…
Meeting Christopher Robin in Dartmouth
Dartmouth is an inspirational place – it inspires me anyway, even though I rarely get to visit these days. Writers, artists, actors, film makers have all come to Dartmouth for one reason or another.
Down the years there have been many famous people born or associated with the town. My favourite ‘celebrity’ (how he’d hate me using that word) was my boss who became a friend, Christopher Robin.
When we first moved to Dartmouth I was thrilled to get a job in The Harbour Bookshop owned and run by Christopher and his wife Lesley. For a bookworm and aspiring writer it was the perfect job for me.
For many years The Harbour Bookshop was at the hub of all things Dartmouth and Christopher himself was a major tourist draw. Something which he loathed, being essentially a very private and shy man. Many is the time I saw him making for the back stairs and escaping from the shop when the clamouring of tourists for his attention became too much. He never minded signing tattered copies of the ‘Pooh’ books clutched by wide eyed children as their grandmothers/mothers hovered anxiously in the background, but he was never entirely happy having to make small talk with strangers. But however much he hated being in the limelight he was always unfailing polite to those demanding his attention and autograph.
The above is the frontispiece of one of his acclaimed autobiography volumes – he wrote three in all after he gave up running the bookshop. He kindly signed and gave me all three. Sadly one of the three, The Enchanted Places was lent to a friend and never returned.
Christopher and Lesley ran the bookshop for 30 years and during the Sixties and Seventies were heavily involved with the School Libraries Association, helping to instill a love of books in all children. The great sadness of Christopher’s life was that his beloved daughter Clare suffered from cerebral palsy and he was never able to give her the childhood he wanted. A keen environmentalist he loved the countryside and was never happier than when at home in the countryside outside Dartmouth.
I learnt a lot about books, the world of publishing and about life in general whilst working for Christopher all those years ago. One of the disappointments of my life is that he’d died before my first novel was published and his iconic Harbour Bookshop had closed its doors, thus denying me the opportunity of seeing any of my novels on the shelves.
Thanks Jennifer, I have to say even I did a double-take on that one, THE Christopher Robin, how marvellous. So it’s hard to follow that up but here is what I thought of The Little Kiosk By The Sea…
This was somewhat of an unexpected book for me, I had been in a bit of a lull with reading and had thought that maybe I wouldn’t enjoy it because I had picked up a few books and had to put them down. Luckily as soon as I started reading this I was captivated by the characters and the setting and in the end had a really hard time putting it down!
There were lots of characters making up this story and each chapter is told with a different character as the focus, I really enjoyed getting snippets from each characters perspectives and seeing how they all relate to each other. It was nice to see the storylines play out and then have to switch to someone else’s story, I think for me that kept the pace really quick and that’s why I got so engrossed in this book.
There are too many characters to go through individually but I will say that I enjoyed hearing from every one of them, although Sabine was my favourite.
This book involves a fair few family secrets and I had so much fun, the further I got in the book, trying to work out how it would play out next. It got quite suspenseful for me at parts and I’m happy to say that I was way off base with all my scenarios. Again the switching of characters for each chapter really added to this need to find out what was happening as you were compelled to find out how the next person would fit into the equation. Even though it does have the drama that comes with any kind of family secret this book managed to remain lighthearted, which I enjoyed.
This is definitely a good book for summer reading, the descriptions really made me want to visit seaside and I definitely have a craving for some ice cream. The Little Kiosk is a lovely read, with a good hearted cast of characters that will easily pull you into their world. I’m looking forward to my next Jennifer Bohnet book for sure!
If any of you in the UK and Europe like the sound of this book then you’re in luck as I have a giveaway for you to win…
I’m English but I’ve lived in France for the past 17 years. After 11 years down on the Cote d’Azur where Richard my husband was a guardian for a villa, we moved from the Mediterranean coast to a small quirky cottage in Finistere, Brittany. A bit of a culture shock to say the least! When I’m not writing I love reading, cooking and having friends around for lunch – lunches that follow the French tradition of lasting for several hours. The Little Kiosk By The Sea is set in my absolute favourite place in England, Dartmouth South Devon, where we lived for several years before moving to France.