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Published: 9 March 2017

Copy provided by Quercus Books & Netgalley

 

Description:

The bestselling author of The Villa and The Saffron Trail returns with a gorgeous summer read about love and starting over – set in West Dorset and beautiful Sardinia. Perfect for fans of Santa Montefiore, Dinah Jefferies and Harriet Evans.

Faye has just completed her degree in interior design when she finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less. While debating what to do next she receives a surprise phone call from her old college friend Charlotte who now lives in Sardinia and is married to Italian hotelier, Fabio.

When Charlotte suggests that Faye relocate for a month to house-sit, Faye wonders if a summer break in sunny Sardinia might be the perfect way to recharge her batteries and think about her future. But then Charlotte tells Faye that there’s something more behind the sudden invitation: her friends Marisa and Alessandro are looking for a designer to renovate a crumbling old theatre they own in the scenic village of Deriu. The idea certainly sounds appealing to Faye, but little does she know what she’s letting herself in for if she accepts this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . . .

My Thoughts & Review:

“The Little Theatre by The Sea” is only the second book by Rosanna Ley that I’ve read, and I really must get round to reading more of her books as they are like a breath of fresh air.  The way in which Ley writes utterly transports the reader, not only to the Mediterranean setting of Sardinia but also to the rugged coastal setting of Dorset.  She writes with such descriptive flair that the reader cannot help but feel the settings come alive between the pages, the vibrancy of Deriu, the smells, the architecture all of it leaps from the pages before your eyes.

Faye was a character that I felt an easy connection towards at times, I relished her passion for her vocation, her compassion towards others and the need to understand “why” in so many situations reminded me of someone I know.  But at the same time, her need to know “why” was infuriating, sometimes there is no answer to that question, well certainly not an easy to give answer.
Marisa and Alessandro were also interesting characters, the brooding presence of Alessandro providing much delight for Faye at times.  Both complex characters, strongly driven by their family ties but also very individual.  Pasquale was a character that was incredibly well written, and one that I struggled to work out, was he merely a saddened villager trying to relive his younger days on stage by visiting the derelict theatre, did he have a motive behind befriending Faye – whether to glean information on the restoration project to feed back to other villagers or was he planning to sabotage the restoration project himself?  Characterisation seems to be a key aspect of Ley’s writing, strong characters, with terrific detail make the story flow fluidly and it’s easy to lose track of time completely when reading this book.

The plot is superb, combining the tales of Faye in Deriu and the history of the picturesque village and it’s theatre, as well as the lives of her parents back in Dorset.  With so much going on you would be forgiven for worrying that you’d not keep up, but fear not.  Each strand of the plot is masterfully woven together, no detail is forgotten and Ley manages to sneak a few surprises in the narrative.
At the heart of this book is the overarching theme of secrets, everyone has their secret and its who they chose to share it with that makes it more or less of a burden.  Whether a person is trying to save another by not imparting a knowledge, or merely saving themself by keeping information locked away, the secret still exists and the price to keep it such has to be paid.

This is a wonderfully rich tale, perfect for holiday reading or even just curling up on the sofa for a quiet afternoon – the perfect escape.

You can buy a copy of “The Little Theatre by The Sea” via Amazon here or via Wordery here.

 

 

 

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