Okay I admit to being a bit of a gin-lover so there was no way I was going to be able to resist a book with this title! The star of the show in this book is Olive Turner, a lady in her eighties who loves nothing more than spending time at her beach hut, testing out various combinations of gin and tonic in search of the perfect blend and she’s not averse to a bit skinny-dipping either! After a couple of incidents at home, she agrees to move to a retirement home Oakley West. This seems an attractive prospect as someone else will be cooking and cleaning and Olive will have more to enjoy life, However, it doesn’t quite work out like that and soon Olive is planning ways to escape to her beloved beach hut with a few of the other residents.
I loved the character of Olive. From the very first paragraph she was doing and saying things that made me laugh out loud. She is exactly the kind of old lady I would hope to be: “these days she didn’t get two hoots what anyone thought…..The only person she planned to please these days was Olive Turner.” A perfect philosophy for life and possibly one that should be adopted before reaching old age. She was an intelligent woman who didn’t see why she should stop doing the things she loved based on a little thing like age!
From quite early on, it became apparent that there had been some event in Olive’s life which had caused great sadness and had certainly affected her relationship with her son Richard. I wasn’t keen on Richard at first as he seemed determined that he knew what was best for his mum and didn’t listen to Olive’s opinions at all. As the story went on, the reader begins to guess at what has happened in the past and why the mother and son don’t get on as well as they might. The two become closer when they begin to talk about what has happened.
The Gin Shack on the Beach is a warm and funny book about friendship, growing old disgracefully and gin! Perfect summer reading, or for anytime really when you want a feel-good and uplifting read. Now I’m off to have G&T – cheers!
Thanks to the publisher, HQ Digital, for my copy of the book via Netgalley. The Gin Shack on the Beach is published today as an e-book and you can order a copy online by clicking here.
From the back of the book
You’re never too old to try something new!
When octogenarian Olive Turner is persuaded by her son to move into a retirement home, she congratulates herself on finding the secret to an easy life: no washing up, cooking or cleaning. But Olive isn’t one for mindless bingo with her fellow residents, and before the first day is over she’s already hatching a plan to escape back to her beloved beach hut and indulge in her secret passion for a very good gin & tonic.
Before long Olive’s secret is out and turning into something wonderful and new. Only a select few are invited, but word spreads quickly about the weekly meetings of The Gin Shack Club. Soon everybody on the beach wants to become a gin connoisseur and join Olive on her journey to never being forced to grow older than you feel.
A journey of friendship, defiance and a quest for the perfect G&T.