A Seaside Affair by Fern Britton


Thank you to Lovereading for the review copy. This was published in paperback by Harper on 26th March 2015

When the residents of the Cornish seaside town of Trevay discover that their much-loved theatre is about to be taken over by a coffee chain, they are up in arms. It is up to Penny Leighton, hotshot producer and the vicar’s wife, to come up with a rescue plan. Armed with only her mobile phone, she starts to pull in some serious favours. The town is soon deluged by actors, all keen to show their support and take part in a charity season at the theatre. One of the arrivals is Jess Tate, girlfriend of TV heartthrob Ryan Hearst. His career is on the rise while her own is in the doldrums. But everything is about to change. Trevay must put on the show of its life – but can the villagers, and Jess, hold on to the thing they love the most?

This is the first of Fern Britton’s books I have read and it is as bubbly and cheerful as Fern herself. The small town of Trevay is exactly as most city dwellers would like to imagine Cornish small towns or villages to be. Trevay comes together as a community to stand up to the corporate baddies and save their theatre. By doing this, they not only hope to save the theatre but to strengthen the community spirit as well. Fern Britton has created a large cast of characters and between them they probably fit the stereotype of every type of villager you might expect. I don’t mean that in a bad way though. It is quite comforting sometimes to have characters where you know how you expect them to behave and to have a good idea of how things will end.The fun is in getting to that end. There is the well meaning vicar, the eccentric ex-military man, the domineering wife, the hen-pecked husband, the airhead aspiring actress, the rough but handsome Cornish man, the good-looking actor struggling to find his next job and the up-and-coming actress who we suspect is being cheated on by her successful actor boyfriend. The vicar’s wife though is certainly not a conventional character! It was an entertaining story as we read about the villagers working together and finding out about the relationships between the characters. This is a light-hearted book and would be perfect for enjoying in your garden, by the pool or, even better, on a sunny Cornish beach!

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