Receiving a pack of tissues from the publishers with One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay I was expecting Zoe Cook’s debut novel to be an emotional read. There is loss but there is also hope 🙂
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: HarperImpulse (11 Aug. 2016)
Secrets lie waiting beneath the Cornish waves in this moving and unforgettable love story. Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, Kelly Rimmer and Jojo Moyes.
Lucy, hi. It’s Tom. How are you? It’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to get in touch but it’s hard to know how to after so much time. I hear you’re doing really well up there. I knew you would be.
You should come here, you know, back to Hideaway bay. Come and see everyone, see how little it’s all changed. Feel the sand between your toes, the Cornish sea breeze on your face. When the sun hits the surf in that way it does, it’s as magical as ever.
That’s why I’m writing to you, actually. I want to get the gang back together again, one last time before…well…just one last time. You should come too. The four of us, a summer on the beach, like old times. We all want you here for it. I want you here for it. It’s been so long since I saw you.
I still think about you.
I have to be honest and say in the beginning I didn’t like Lucy. It was obvious there was something major that had happened in the past but her destructive behaviour in response to the demands of her job in London at Spectrum left me feeling cold which were exacerbated during the flashbacks as I thought she was a spoilt teen and egotistical. But then there were glimmers of the Lucy that was hidden behind those behaviours and it wasn’t until she was fired from her job for showing some humanity that I started to identify with her.
I loved the four old friends coming back together in Hideaway Bay (what a fabulous setting – sea, sand and six pubs!) in Cornwall and slipping into their friendships. A great place for Lucy to start healing on all levels! Her history with them means there’s no judgements about who she is and she blossoms in this community. Being drawn into working at Tom’s Beach Cafe she realises the judgements she made before she left were wrong and the feelings she managed to keep hidden in London start to surface. Realisations come for Lucy when her London ‘friends’ come to stay for a weekend.
I did guess what might happen from the blurb and a couple of scenes confirmed where I thought the story was going. Such a poignant celebration on the beach. Full of love but also loss too.
One friendship I did enjoy was Lucy and Tara’s. I really liked Tara and would love to see her as a lead in another Hideaway Bay story. She has an interesting back story I’d love to know more about! Lucy’s sister Claire has more to share … and another flawed character who would make a great lead is Annabel.
One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay is an emotional read. I think I would have been more invested emotionally if I had felt a stronger connection towards Lucy. I loved the pace, the setting, the friendships and the community.
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