22 September 2015

Blog Tour Book Review: High Tide by Veronica Henry

"Pennfleet might be a small town, but there's never a dull moment in its narrow winding streets ...

Kate has only planned a flying visit to clear out the family home after the death of her mother. When she finds an anonymous letter, she is drawn back into her own past.

Single dad Sam is juggling his deli and two lively teenagers, so romance is the last thing on his mind. Then Cupid fires an unexpected arrow - but what will his children think?

Nathan Fisher is happy with his lot, running picnic cruises up and down the river, but kissing the widow of the richest man in Pennfleet has disastrous consequences.

Vanessa knows what she has done is unseemly for a widow, but it's the most fun she's had for years. Must she always be on her best behaviour?"

Rating: 5/5

Available to buy now.

I was super excited to receive a beautiful proof copy of Veronica Henry's new book High Tide. I love the gorgeous cover, it's so evocative of what I think a town like Pennfleet would look like, and again, despite never having been to Cornwall, I have read so many books set there I feel like I have been! This book isn't a sequel as such, but it is set in the town from Veronica's 2012 book The Long Weekend. I recognised Luca, the chef from the last book, cropping up in this one, but it doesn't matter at all if you haven't read the other book, this one is perfect on its own!

Kate is back home in Penfleet, but only for a short while, thanks to the death of her mother Joy. Kate is devastated to have to return from New York, where she lives now to sort out her childhood home. But when she is sorting her mother's things, she finds a letter that just might open up a whole new can of worms for Kate. Sam, new to the area and owner of a cafe, is getting to grips with being a single dad to his teenage children, and is wondering when it might be the time to move on from his beloved wife. Finally, there's Nathan and Vanessa who meet on the day of Vanessa's husbands funeral, when Vanessa has to escape from the mourning. Nathan accompanies her to the local pub, but it's more than just the sparks of new friendship between the pair...

As you can see, there are plenty of stories going on in this book to keep you interested, and I loved how they were all woven together within the setting of Pennfleet. Right from the beginning of the book, I was drawn into the Cornish way of life, close and neighbourly to each other, there when they all really needed it, even to those like Kate who long ago left them behind. I particularly loved Kate's story, how she felt when she finally came home, and the way the community brought her back into their fold once more. I felt so sorry for her loss, the way Veronica Henry writes her grief is very heart-wrenching, I did tear up several times, really feeling her pain. It was emotional, and although it was tough to read in parts, I did enjoy the read.

The other stories are equally touching in their own ways. Nathan works hard to earn a living to keep a roof of the head of himself and his grandfather.I really liked the friendship he struck up with Vanessa, and hoped the pair would be able to work things out and be friends. The other tale involving Sam and his teenage children was equally touching, with the whole family coming together to move through their grief. I really enjoyed reading Henry's take on family life in all of its different forms. She writes the relationships between the characters so wonderfully and vividly, you really feel their emotions together with them - their grief, their excitement, their sadness and happiness, and of course hope for the future.

This was definitely a highlight of my summer reading so far, and I loved every page of this story. The town on Pennfleet sounded wonderful, everything from the cafe to Joy's house sounded and you could see why each of the characters wanted to be able to call Pennfleet home, those old and new to the town. Henry's writing is second to none, a joy to read from beginning to end and I honestly didn't want the story to end. If you are a fan of Veronica Henry, you will definitely want to read this, and if you haven't yet discovered her, you won't go far wrong from starting with this brilliant novel. I loved it.

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