Wednesday 15 February 2012

Book review : The Beach Cafe - Lucy Diamond

When Lucy Diamond's latest novel The Beach Café was released last summer, it was dubbed - like most chicklit, it seems ! - the ultimate beach read to pack in your suitcase along with your suncream and sparkly flipflops. Well, I've just finished it and I can add that it's pretty good as a feel-good read when the temperatures outside are bouncing around minus 15 too !

The story begins with thirtysomething Evie at the hairdresser's, debating whether or not to have her hair cropped short and thinking that this is already a major decision. When she discovers that her aunt Jo has been killed in a car crash and that she has inherited her beach café in a lonely Cornish bay, she suddenly has a whole lot more life-changing decisions to get her head around. Especially when she calls in to visit her legacy and discovers that the current customer service leaves a lot to be desired. She was already wondering if she should give up her rubbish temping job with Mr Sleaze as a boss and follow the teacher-training route her sensible family and boyfriend suggest but, suddenly, a whole new series of opportunities, not to mention challenges, opens up before her.

The basic recipe is very similar to a lot of chick-lit - one scoop of family trouble, two of love interest, a shake of past love and a generous sprinkling of girl power ! - but as they say,  if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's a formula that works very well indeed. Evie is a lovely, down-to-earth central character that we can all relate to and let's face it - who hasn't dreamed at least once of throwing in their job and their dreary life and starting up a new venture somewhere exciting like a stunning Cornish beach ? It's perfect escapism !

The title immediately made me think of the Leonardo Di Caprio film (and the original book that inspired it) called The Beach but you can forget exotic Thai idylls and sinister drug lords. The Beach Café is grounded in reality with bracing Atlantic breezes, dogwalkers, teenage runaways and Cornish pasties being as exotic as it gets ! This is what makes it such a good read though, as we can all totally identify with Evie and are mentally egging her on from the very first page.

It definitely would make a great poolside read but it put a smile on my face snuggled under my duvet too !

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £6.99

Other reviews you may be interested in :

  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (2 Jun 2011)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0330520539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330520539

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. Great review. This isn't the kind of book I usually read but it sound like a fun bit of escapism and I love books that are set in the UK.

  2. Great review.... sounds a good holiday read!

  3. Great review, have put it on my `to read this year` list!

  4. Mmm Cornish pasties :D
    This sounds like a decent book, will look out for it at the library :)


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