The Beach Hut Next Door by Veronica Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summer appeared from nowhere that year in Everdene . . . and for those lucky enough to own one of the beach huts, this was the summer of their dreams.
For Elodie, returning to Everdene means re-awakening the memories of one summer fifty years ago. A summer when everything changed.
Vince and his brother are struggling to come to terms with the death of their father - but they have very different ways of coping.
And for Jenna, determined to put the past behind her, the opportunity to become 'the ice cream girl' once again might just turn her life around.
But this summer is not all sunshine and surf - as secrets unfold, and some lives are changed for ever..
When I received The Beach Hut Next Door I couldn’t wait to read it, from reading the blurb and looking at the cover I knew I was going to be in for a summery read. This is the second book that features Everdene; however you do not have to have read the previous book ‘The Beach Hut’ in order to enjoy this one. After reading this one though you may find yourself wanting to read ‘The Beach Hut’ to find out where it all began!
The story is based around The Beach Huts of Everdene, this summer the owners are back and we follow the lives of some of them. I really enjoyed this book; however there are many characters in the story and at times I was forgetting who was who and having to go back through the story to find out what that character had previously did. This was a shame as the writing was wonderful; it flowed well and was smooth. I just felt that there were too many characters in the story and some of them seemed unnecessary.
Jane, is an ice cream girl, she wants to invest in her future and decided that buying a traditional van would be the way to go, we follow her as she tries to secure a loan for it and I was hoping to find out more about her and follow her story a bit; we however leave her to move onto another character. Although we do return to visit her, I felt that the level of information was lacking after the initial introduction to her. You may remember her if you have read Henry’s short story ‘A Sea Change’, it was nice to have a familiar character return.
My favourite character in the book has to be Elodie, she grew up in Everdene, living in Grey House she has spent many years away due to a secret that was exposed to her about her family. After many years she feels the time has come to return. Through the book we realise what had happened in Elodie’s life and how it has become since she left Everdene. I really enjoyed reading about Elodie, she was by far my faviourte character, I felt that I grew up along with her as I read the book.
Another of my favourite characters were Rachel and Tim. They have recently separated but although they have shared everything they had while they were together, neither one of them can come to terms with selling their beach hut. So they decide they want to keep it between them and sharing it for half the year each.
Although the book is wrapped up in the theme of Everdene and the beach huts, the stories are very separate and almost read as short stories which was nice. There were many other characters in the book though and I didn’t think these were needed, I would have been quite happy to have read more about my three favourite characters!
Overall I really enjoyed this book and the reason I haven’t given it 5* is just down to the amount of characters in the book. I thought the writing was wonderful, smooth and engaging, I am looking forward to reading other books by Henry.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.