Summer on Seashell Island by Sophie Pembroke: A feel-good, funny and entertaining summertime story - book review -

Three siblings, all at a crossroads in their lives, head to their island home for a reunion that will change the way they see the world.

Summer on Seashell Island
Summer on Seashell Island

Waves lapping gently against soft, yellow sand, puffy white clouds bobbing in a blue sky, seagulls calling, and a breeze whipping up the salty smell of the sea…

If your heart beats a little faster at the thought of a summer getaway, climb aboard the ferry and head to beautiful Seashell Island off the Welsh coast and enjoy a sunshine staycation full of family, friendship, love… and llamas!

Sophie Pembroke – the go-to author for lovers of quintessentially British romances – brings us a holiday to remember as three siblings, all at a crossroads in their lives, head to their island home for a reunion that will change the way they see the world.

With unexpected romances, rekindled relationships, hidden secrets, and difficult decisions ahead, this sparkling tale is a journey of self-discovery and a time for letting go of the past and looking forward to new beginnings.

Miranda Waters has no regrets that she has lived all of her thirty-five years on Seashell Island, a small tourism-centred enclave off the coast of Wales where she helps to run a holiday cottage business owned by the parents of her live-in fiancé Paul.

And who wouldn’t want to live in this perfect place, particularly in July when the sun is shining and the summer holiday season is about to begin? This year, Miranda is juggling her job with looking after her own parents’ Lighthouse B&B as they enjoy the holiday of a lifetime in Australia.

But while Miranda has always loved island life, her younger siblings, brother Leo and sister Juliet, escaped to London as soon as they were old enough. Leo now runs his own successful business but got divorced three years ago, making him a part-time parent to his two young daughters, and Juliet, who felt ‘stifled’ on Seashell, is assistant to a high-flying PR company boss.

So the last thing Miranda expects is her brother and sister showing up at the door of the Lighthouse, seeking sanctuary. Workaholic Leo’s ex-wife has remarried and is heading off on an extended honeymoon leaving him with daughters Mia and Abby, and he needs someone to look after them while he takes care of business matters.

Juliet, the ‘baby’ of the family who has been wringing every drop of excitement from living in London and doing everything she ever wanted, regardless of the consequences, needs refuge from a broken romance and a lifestyle that has finally caught up with her.

Facing a whole summer in each other’s company – and Miranda suddenly forced to tackle personal problems of her own and a crisis for both the B&B and Seashell Island – the next six weeks are going to be a test for them all.

Add on two highly imaginative youngsters, a four-piece folk-rock band, an unruly llama next door, and a lifetime of secrets between them, can the Waters siblings work together to save their home before it’s too late?

Pembroke delivers the perfect antidote to a year of pandemic stress and strife… a feel-good, funny and entertaining summertime story that reminds readers to treasure the joys of family, and rediscover the truth of the old adage that home is where the heart is.

With a narrative that weaves between the three estranged siblings, and through their battle to save the Lighthouse, we observe Miranda, Leo and Juliet re-evaluating their relationships, growing closer under the weight of personal problems, and finding the strength and courage to make life-changing decisions.

Filled with warmth, insight and a colourful supporting cast, and set against the alluring backdrop of an island world of bobbing boats, candy-coloured cottages and endless blue horizons, a trip to Seashell Island is the perfect holiday escape.

(Orion, paperback, £8.99)