Tuesday, 1 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Jill Mansell - The Unpredictable Consequences of Love

"In the idyllic seaside town of St Carys, Sophie is putting the past firmly behind her.
When Josh arrives in St Carys to run the family hotel, he can't understand why Sophie has zero interest in letting any man into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited.
St Carys has more than its fair share of characters, including the charming but utterly feckless surfer Riley Bryant, who has a massive crush on Tula. Riley's aunt is superstar author Marguerite Marshall. And Marguerite has designs on Josh's grandfather...who in turn still adores his glamorous ex-wife, Dot...
Just how many secrets can one seaside town keep?"

I am yet to read a Jill Mansell book that I didn’t like or I struggled to get into… I honestly think that everything she writes turns to gold. This book is one of many fine examples of how fantastic a writer Jill Mansell truly is – it’s funny, captivating, touching, gripping, and just generally wonderful. I'd been wanting to read it for ages so I was so excited when it was available on BookBridgr (if you're not signed up to the site, definitely check it out - it's fab!)

It follows the lives of a few select characters in St Carys, a wonderfully gorgeous seaside town where, in all honesty, I would want to move to and spend the rest of my days there because it sounds heavenly. The lives of these characters intertwine which makes it feel more ‘together’ as a story because you’re not simply reading about a whole host of random characters – I dunno, it made it feel more jointed for me.

The characters range from Riley who’s a bit of a ladies man who doesn’t want to work, just play, to Sophie whose refusal to let a man become part of her life is something that bemuses those who know her but not her darkest secret. All of the characters are well developed and help, in their own way, to bring the story together. They’re very three dimensional and have real depth to them, some more than others such as Sophie, Riley, and Marguerite. It makes for a very gripping read, I must say.

Without giving too much away, Sophie is a woman who is very focussed on her work and seems to have no time for men in her life. However, it later becomes clear that that’s something she’s deliberately orchestrated due to previous events in her life. Josh takes a shine to her and wants to bring her out of her shell and what unfolds from then on out is a wonder to read. Their friendship/relationship has funny moments, sad moments, and complete ‘COME ON, YOU TWO! SORT IT OUT!’ moments. My personal favourite would be the latter but they’re all really good, I swear.

There’s more to it than a standard love story; there’s surrounding drama and lots of twists and turns. You won’t be able to stop turning the pages and, more to the point, you won’t want to. You want to watch this people grow and come together. You’ll be surprised by how things turn out, that’s for sure.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think?

About Jill: Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time.
Actually that's not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet Tweeting and marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she's completely run out of displacement activities does she actually write. 
Follow Jill on Twitter at @JillMansell.