The Bookshop on the Shore

In The Bookshop on the Shore, Zoe has come to Scotland to help run a mobile bookshop while its owner has a baby, and look after three children who have been running wild since their mother disappeared.

Unlike some of her earlier stories the emphasis here is on the lives of the children; romance definitely takes a back seat. Shackleton, Mary and Patrick live in The Beeches with their reclusive father, and mystery surrounds the whereabouts of their mother. These children are not coping well and six other nannies have already given up on them.

Zoe has problems of her own; her four-year-old son, Hari, does not speak, but she tries to bring order and understanding into their troubled lives. With nowhere else to go, she has to make a success of her new life.

I loved the Scottish setting and the emphasis on the powerful effect reading can have. The children are the stars, and the bond that develops between Hari and Patrick will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

This book features some characters from The Little Shop of Happy Ever After but you don’t need to have read it first. It is many years since I last read a book by Jenny Colgan but I won’t leave it so long next time. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an independent review.