The opening chapter of Release gave me pause for the extent to which it borrowed from the beginnings of Mrs Dalloway. I knew that Ness took inspiration from Mrs Dalloway and Forever by Judy Blume. I’ve read the former, but not the latter. And let’s just say, I didn’t like that classic very much. I gave it 0.5 stars, although I could see what Virginia Woolf had meant to accomplish. But I’ve adored past books of Patrick Ness, so I was curious.
While the title might suggest otherwise, Honeymoon Suite is about a woman’s personal journey to start her life over in a new place. Her wedding falls through, and with it, the life she’s planned ahead. With the help of her friend, she gets back on track. Yes, romance is involved but against all odds, it’s not the primary focus. It’s about piecing her life together again, and building new relationships.
The atmosphere of The Summer Seaside Kitchen was incredible. Even though Mure isn’t a real island but an amalgam of various islands of the Northern Isles, it completely came to life. I could picture the scenic views, the landmarks and houses so perfectly, I very nearly felt as though I had been transported to Mure myself. The more I read, the more I fell in love with the island. That’s how well Jenny Colgan detailed everything!
Windfall is a book that’s bound to appeal to fans of slow burn romance. There’s no love at first sight, but feelings that Alice harboured for years on end. Friendships came first, which I enjoyed, and all that followed unfolded at good pace. I have to say, of the four books I’ve read by Jennifer E. Smith, Windfall is my favourite so far. The character development was solid, even if the characters themselves weren’t the most likeable.