Book Review: It Happened One Summer by Polly Williams

After years of romantic drought, Nell is enjoying a thrilling fling with a sexy new man and loving London life, somehow managing to juggle single motherhood with a busy career. Plus, in the city it's easy to avoid her sister who is about to marry Nell's ex. (Yes, messy). Then she gets the news. Please could she return to Tredower, the crumbling old family home in Cornwall for the summer? Disaster. Tredower has no Wi-Fi, harbours her big dysfunctional family, and far worse, memories of her passionate love affairs with the man who is about to become her brother-in-law. The past is another county. Can she go there?
Another woman is making her way west too, carrying an explosive secret. Love will be lost, and found, lives changed for ever...
Nell is struggling to juggle a high pressured career as a journalist with life as a single mum whilst also dipping a toe in the dating pool. When her  brother Ethan asks her to relocate to Cornwall over the Summer to look after their mother, Nell can't think of anything worse. However, after a while and a few problems at work, Nell decides that a summer in Cornwall might just be what she and four year old Cass need.
Nell's family life has been a little stressful over the years; she is not particularly close to her mother and barely speaks to her sister Heather after she ran off with her boyfriend Jeremy who is now Heather's fiance.
After agreeing to care for her mother, Nell is looking forward to a Summer in Cornwall and spending some quality time with her own daughter. But Nell's mother has other plans, she feels that she is near the end and wants the children to decide what happens to Tredower, the family home. So the rest of the family, including Jeremy arrive and Nell does not quite get the relaxing environment that she was hoping for.
It Happened One Summer also has a mystery element to it in the form of April James and her daughter Beth, they are down in Cornwall for the summer and seem to have a particular interest in Tredower and the family living there.
It took me a little while to get into this book but once the action had moved to Cornwall, I found myself really enjoying it. Polly Williams explores just how much family relationships can be tested and I found this to be very interesting and realistic. I liked Nell's character and I eventually came to like her mother Valerie, even though I could completely see how annoying she was.
The Cornish setting is just lovely and I loved reading about Tredower, the crumbling family home holding many secrets and desires.
It Happened One Summer is an absorbing read and I did like Polly Williams writing style, I would very much recommend it.

Many thanks to the lovely people at Headline for sending me a copy of the book to review, it is out now!


verity said...

I picked this up at the library and am really looking forward to it since I have loved all of her other books!

Dot said...

Verity- It's a really lovely summery read! Hope that you enjoy it!

The Book Whisperer said...

I really enjoyed this book too Dot. I will be keeping an eye out for more of Polly Williams books. Glad you enjoyed too.

BOOK REVIEW: Our Kind of Cruelty by Amarinta Hall

Mike understands that most of us travel through the world as one half of a whole, desperately searching for that missing person to make us...