Mulberry Hotel, perched on a clifftop above a sweeping bay, was once the heart and soul of pretty seaside town Mulberry Bay. Run by the Harte family for years, the place itself is almost as beloved as cheery landlady Anna.
The hotel was also once home to thirty-something sisters Eleanor and Penny, and while youngest sister Penny still lives close by, it’s been some time since Elle has visited. But following a family tragedy, Elle is forced to return from her busy London life and reassess her past.
When it becomes apparent that the hotel is in dire straits, Elle and Penny are unprepared for the reaction of their father, Ned, He steadfastly refuses to give up the family legacy, revealing that he’s given up something equally precious once before. Startled by their father’s surprising revelation, the sisters unite, with the local community behind them, in their efforts to save the hotel – and, in the process, heal the fractures in the Harte family.
Paper copy, won in January 2016 as one of a number of books from the publishers Simon and Schuster. I don’t normally read “beach read” books (don’t ask me why), but it was heading into June, so what better time to read it eh? It took me only a couple of days to read it, and there are plenty of subjects to be covered: The death of the mother; recovering from near financial ruin; being true and accepting of yourself; finding the real you, and the mending of the past. There are loves lost and (sometimes) won.
On the whole, the story was fast paced and decent enough. There were a couple of things that disturbed me slightly but didn’t stop me finishing the book, or getting an overall nice feeling from it. Things like: taking a taxi from Dublin airport to the village in Wexford (a two-hour journey at the best of times) – I suspect this is to show Elle was still in shock over the death of her mother, but really? This seems to be a short lapse in behaviour, as Elle barely dwells on her mother (in life or death) for the rest of the book. Penny, however, is the opposite, in that she finds her mother’s diaries, and it brings her closer to her father, racking up some bills in the process (that never really gets explained as to how she pays for her purchases).
However, like I said, I still finished the book, and my “issues” are minor. I can see why this author is popular and it is a good addition to the “Beach Reads” group of books. If you like this style of book, then I would definately recommend it.
About this author
International #1 bestselling author Melissa Hill lives in Dublin and is one of Ireland’s most popular contemporary fiction authors.
Her page-turning, contemporary romance stories are published worldwide and translated into 25 different languages. Her titles are regular chart-toppers in Ireland and internationally and SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S (aka A GIFT FROM TIFFANY’S) became one of Italy’s 2011 Top Ten bestselling books overall. One of her recent titles is currently in development with a major Hollywood movie studio