A Wedding at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry: A cast of superbly drawn characters, a drama-packed story full of warmth, wisdom and compassion - book review -
Robyn Moss doesn’t want a lavish wedding… a simple register office ceremony to tie the knot and then down to her father-in-law’s beach hut to dance barefoot on the golden sands of Devon.
But before she steps into a new future, Robyn needs to uncover the truth about her past, even if it risks breaking the hearts of the people who have brought her so much love and happiness.
Don’t despair if this year’s holiday plans have been scuppered by lockdown because fabulous feel-good storyteller Veronica Henry is ready to whisk you away to the coastal joys of Everdene Sands, a place that offers comfort to the heart, mind and soul.
A Wedding at the Beach Hut – the new summer blockbuster in her much-loved series featuring the good folk who own beach huts in beautiful Everdene – is the perfect panacea for the year of pandemic.
Featuring a cast of superbly drawn characters, a drama-packed story full of warmth, wisdom and compassion, and played out against a backdrop of grassy dunes, powder blue skies, a turquoise sea and a group of beach huts set out ‘like a watercolour palette,’ this is the next best thing to a real seaside getaway.
Every Friday evening in warm weather, landscape gardeners Robyn Moss and her boyfriend Jake Young gather for a barbecue with their close families at Shedquarters, Jake’s dad’s ‘almost frozen in time’ beach hut in their home town of Everdene Sands.
And it’s at this stunning spot that Robyn and Jake are aiming to hold their dream wedding party, and break the happy news that their plans have been given extra joy and impetus by the discovery that Robyn is pregnant.
Adopted at birth by typical Devon farmer Mick Moss and his wife Sheila, Robyn has enjoyed a blissful, loving family life at Hawksworthy Farm with her sister Clover, and now has the prospect of a shared future with caring, dependable Jake.
But 30-year-old Robyn is more unsettled than excited. She was always sure she had ‘made peace’ with her adoption but her own pregnancy has set her thinking about the box she was given on her eighteenth birthday, and the secrets it contains.
The contents of the box were put together by Robyn’s birth mother all those years ago and opening it is certain to reveal the truth about her history. Robyn is curious but she’s also worried that by seeking out the past, she will hurt her much-loved adoptive parents.
And what she doesn’t know is that Mick and Sheila have problems of their own… they have only just managed to keep the farm afloat after their entire cattle stock had to be slaughtered in an outbreak of bovine TB ten years ago. Now they face the heartbreak of having to sell the family farm.
As the big day arrives, can everyone finally let go of the past and head confidently into a bright new future?
Henry’s gorgeous books always come packed with her acute insights into family life and relationships, and this new sunshine odyssey explores the insoluble bonds between parents and their children.
Brimming with emotions of every hue – from anguish and fear to love and laughter – Robyn’s rollercoaster journey to discover what drove her birth mother to have her baby adopted will leave readers turning the pages and shedding their own tears.
With flashbacks to heartbreaking events in the past, and the delights of getting to know all the wonderful family and friends who form part of Robyn and Jake’s circle of happiness, A Wedding at the Beach Hut is best enjoyed with the sun on your back and a glass in your hand!
(Orion, paperback, £7.99)