Christmas at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry | Book Review

Published by Orion
Available in ebook and paperback (15 November 2018)
384 pages
Source: Review copy provided by publisher

|   About the Book   |

Everyone adores Christmas . . .

Especially Lizzy Kingham. But this year, she is feeling unloved and underappreciated by her family. The present-buying, decorating and food shopping have all been left to her. So she wonders . . . what would happen if she ran away and left them to it?

Lizzy heads to her favourite place: a beach hut on the golden sands of Everdene. There she meets an unlikely collection of new friends, all running away from something. But the spirit of Christmas gets under Lizzy’s skin: soon the fairy lights are twinkling and the scent of mulled wine mingles with the sea air.

Back at Pepperpot Cottage, her family are desperate to find her. For Christmas isn’t Christmas without Lizzy. Can they track her down in time and convince her she means the world to them, every day of the year?

| My Thoughts |

I always enjoy a book by Veronica Henry and did a little squeal of delight when this popped through the letterbox from Orion. I was determined to fit in at least one Christmas book this year – and I’m so glad that Christmas at the Beach Hut was one. I haven’t yet read any of the previous ‘Beach Hut’ books but that didn’t matter at all. I had no problems settling in with this one.

Lizzy Kingham is a salt of the earth person. A loving wife and mother, but recently made redundant from her job as a successful wedding planner, she is at a crossroads in her life and things are made worse by her feeling as though her family are taking her for granted.

Her husband Simon seems to take more notice of his ex wife Amanda and pander to her wishes than he does Lizzy’s, her children treat her as part of the furniture and job rejections are coming in. The last straw is when her efforts to continue the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree as a family fall apart – they clearly don’t care about her feelings so she does something completely out of character and goes off on her own to celebrate Christmas.

Lizzy is not the only person feeling the pressure. Teenager Harley is having a tough time with his mother’s boyfriend and has to get away. Jack and his young son Nat are also suffering. The beach at Everdene is the place to go.

This was a charming and delightful read, without being sickly sweet. The characters are perfectly drawn; from harrassed mum Lizzy, to young Harley, a young man with a wise head trying to protect his mother and younger brother, and Jack – trying to move forward with his life. The more we learn about Lizzy’s family they come across as any other normal family – not being deliberately uncaring but so used to mum being there and doing everything that they don’t always think to be more appreciative.

Over the course of a few days everybody finds out something about themselves – and more importantly, what they need to change to improve their lives.

I really enjoyed this. It’s a lovely uplifting, heartwarming read. Veronica Henry writes with such warmth and humour that you can’t help but be pulled into the lives of the characters. Although its set in the lead up to Christmas, the message in the story applies at any time of the year and can be enjoyed outside of the Christmas period. And I defy anyone not to fall in love with Clouseau!

| About the Author |

Veronica Henry has worked as a scriptwriter for THE ARCHERS, HEARTBEAT and HOLBY CITY amongst many others, before turning to fiction. She won the 2014 RNA NOVEL OF THE YEAR AWARD for A NIGHT ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Veronica lives with her family in a village in north Devon.

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