Review – The Little Kiosk By the Sea by Jennifer Bohnet

By | October 7, 2015

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!

Back in August, I had the great pleasure of introducing you to Jennifer Bohnet – here’s a link to the lovely chat we had. At the time, I was rather ashamed because – although they’re all on my Kindle, patiently waiting – I’d never read any of Jennie’s books. Well, I’ve finally put that right. I’ve just finished reading The Little Kiosk By The Sea, published for Kindle by Carina UK on 18th August – and I thought it was simply wonderful.

I love Veronica Henry’s books. Now that’s really no way to start a review of Jennie’s lovely book, but if I was comparing her writing to anyone’s books I’ve enjoyed reading, that’s the one I’d use. There’s that same wonderful sense of place, the cast of characters all drawn so strongly, a great story or several, a gentle humour, secrets unfolding, romance developing, and an ending that allows you to set the book aside with a satisfied sigh. 

The Dartmouth setting is simply wonderful, so vividly described that by the end I felt I’d visited the kiosk, walked round the harbour, made my way from Johnnie’s cottage to Sabine’s loft conversion, dropping in for prosecco on the terrace with Rachel and BB before heading up to visit Harriet and admire the view from the bench in the garden. Every character became a friend – from lovelorn Owen to the slightly mysterious Rachel, from BB the lovely young American on a mission to Sabine who is everyone’s very best friend. I particularly liked the fact that the cast – with a few exceptions – was a little older than average, because it meant I identified with them more easily, appreciated their pasts and the lives and losses that had shaped them. 

The stories are wonderful – past scandals, decisions to be made, secrets to be hidden or revealed, histories to be uncovered, how to move forward into the future. It was a lovely, lovely read, and I enjoyed every moment. I do hope Jennie returns to Dartmouth to see what happens to the characters – I’m missing them all dreadfully already. 

But then again, at the end of my copy were the opening chapters of Jennie’s earlier book, A French Pirouette, and I want to find out what happens to Libby as she takes on the auberge too… ! Jennie, you write quite beautifully – I’m so glad I’ve discovered you at last.

My thanks to netgalley, the author and publishers Carina UK for my advance reading copy.

Jennifer Bohnet is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany. The saying ‘Life is what happens while you’re deciding what to do’ is certainly true in her case. She’s always written alongside having various jobs: playgroup leader, bookseller, landlady, restauranteur, farmer’s wife, secretary/PA – the list is endless but does provide a rich vein of inspiration for her stories.
For three years she wrote a newspaper column in The South Hams Group of Newspapers (Devon)where she took a wry look at family life. Since living in France it is her fiction that has taken off with hundreds of short stories and several serials published internationally. if you like stories set down on the French Riviera, Antibes, Cannes and Monaco, then take a look at Follow Your Star and Rendezvous in Cannes. Her other books too have passing references to the South of France.
Allergic to housework and gardening she rarely does either but she does like cooking and entertaining and wandering around vide greniers (the French equivalent of flea markets) looking for a bargain or two. Her children currently live in fear of her turning into an ageing hippy and moving to Totnes, Devon.
To find out more about Jennie, do keep an eye on her website, like her Facebook page or chat to her on Twitter.

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