The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara
Published: July 2017
Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
You’ll find a warm welcome in the latest novel from Ali McNamara, bestselling author of The Little Flower Shop by the Sea and From Notting Hill with Love, Actually
One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there’s a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.
‘The Welcome House’ is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there’s always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.
While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she’s remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.
But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious ‘Welcome House’? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for copy, in exchange for my honest review. I’m so glad I got to read this, I’ve loved other books by Ali McNamara and this one does not disappoint.
I found this to be a magical story, full of folklore, history, mysteries and romance. It was interesting to read the different legends. I know it’s a fictional place, but it made me realise that everywhere has these little stories, legends, rumours, whatever you want to call it. They all stem from somewhere don’t they?
Written well, as always for Ali McNamara. The characters all had feeling, depth, and a likeability that touches you. There is a lot of eye-rolling though, and winking. What’s that all about? Anyway, I liked all of the characters. The setting was beautiful, as is all of Ireland.
Ren is determined, stubborn, but a very likeable woman. Kiki plays well against Ren. For Ren’s matureness, Kiki is the opposite. She’s ditzy, doesn’t get a lot of Ren’s references, but she’s still very likeable. Finn. I’ve been trying to find the right words for Finn but I’m struggling. He’s likeable, you get to see a little of his history, his backstory but on the other hand I don’t know… I felt like I didn’t get a lot from him. I don’t know. All the characters worked well together, there is chemistry between all the characters, a fondness between them. Kiki and Ren found their home in Ballykiltara and it shows.
It makes a nice change that the loss that a character’s suffers is an animal. Many stories centre around the loss of a person, not an animal. People’s lives are affected by the loss of a pet or like Finn, a business. it shows that it does change the way people are.
This book was just great. I loved how it was written, I loved the majority of the characters, and I just really enjoyed it. I give it 4/5.