Hey my turbo readers, today I have the absolutely pleasure to take part in Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea, which a stunning debut by Liz Eeles and a start to a brilliant new series. I’m actually quite surprised with how much I loved this book as it’s a debut and I had nothing to compare it with. But boy, am I glad I read it and discovered a new, fantastic chick lit author. I’m also thrilled to be kicking off Liz’s blog tour on the day of her publication and I’m really mega excited about reading other people’s reviews. Make sure you follow the other blog tour hosts and many thanks to lovely Kim from Bookouture for the chance to read it and be part of the blog tour. Cheerio, sweethearts!
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea by Liz Eeles
Series: Salt Bay #1
Published by Bookouture
Published on 18.5.2017
Genres: chick lit
Buy on amazon.co.uk or Buy on amazon.com
When twenty-nine-year-old Annie Trebarwith receives an unexpected letter from a great-aunt she’s never known, she leaves her shoebox-sized flat in London and catches a train to the rugged Cornish coast.
Salt Bay is beautiful and Annie begins to kindle a bond with her great-aunt Alice. Even though there is zero phone signal and the locals – including the gorgeous but brooding Josh Pasco – can be decidedly grumpy at times, Annie starts to feel at home in Salt Bay.
Soon Annie’s love of music leads her to relaunch the Salt Bay Choral Society, and she’s surprised to see how just much the choir means to the community – and she even starts to break through Josh’s surly exterior…
But London is calling Annie back, and she has to make a decision. Give up her old life completely, or leave Salt Bay, her new-found family – and the choir – behind?
Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea is a heart-warming story about family, belonging and the healing power of music, perfect for fans of Jo Thomas, Holly Martin and Carole Matthews.
Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when you discover a new series you’re excited to read and can’t wait for the next installment? Honestly, I can hardly believe this is Liz Eeles’ debut. I don’t know if she’s previously published something under a different name or if she self published before signing up with Bookouture, but all I know is this woman can write!
You know, as someone who’s read tons of chick lits/rom com’s and women’s fiction over the years, it’s kind of hard to impress me. I’ve seen it all, the cliches, the predictable story lines, the humour and don’t get me wrong. This is not a bad thing. Chick lit/women’s fiction is my fave genre and I can’t ever see me not reading it. However, I’ve ‘learned’ all the tricks and really got a good feel of the genre so I kind of know what to expect even before I start reading the book.
Now, while I haven’t heard of Liz Eeles’ before, I read the blurb and the last sentence, the comparison of her writing with Alex Brown’s was what really got me intrigued. I mean, I’m a huge fan of Ms Brown’s books and I’ve followed her work from the beginning and I KNOW she’s one of these authors whose writing simply gets under your skin. But does Liz Eeles ‘deserve’ this comparison? It’s what really made me want to read this book, besides the gorgeous cover that simply mesmerized me.
Now that I’ve read Ms Eeles’ debut I can say that as much as I hate comparing authors or their books, there really is some similarity with Ms Brown’s books…not in the content but in the feeling the book evokes. I was totally surprised to see myself laughing out loud from the first page. But no, the book is not all laughs, but there’s a nice balance between laugh out moments and more serious tone when needed.
In this part #1 of salt Bay series, Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea (really wish the title is shorter), we follow Annabel (Annie), a young woman approaching her 30s, who receives a letter from a solicitor in which she’s asked to meet her great-aunt Alice in Salt Bay, Cornwall. However, this is rather a shock as Annie didn’t even know her great-aunt. In fact, she doesn’t know any of her relatives as her mum had her young and was kind of thrown away from her house. It’s always been just the two of them, and now her mum is gone…she’s all by herself doing the best she can to take care of herself. She’s not ready to commit to anything really, she hates staying at a job for too long and after a year at her last work she decides to leave it. She’s also not to keen on starting a family which is why her boyfriend dumps her, telling her she never wanted to commit anyway so why waste their time. Overall, Annie is someone who likes to enjoy her freedom in every aspect and while I didn’t feel she’s an adventurer, I could feel her fear of being tied down. Not having any better plans, Annie decides to meet her great aunt, Alice and give Salt Bay a chance. It’s there that she discovers many secrets about her family but also feels the community and being part of something bigger for the first time.
It took me a while to get to like Annie, not because she’s a commitment phobic but cause I didn’t really feel her words. It’s like I didn’t feel her narration for the first few chapters, I simply couldn’t take her for a girl who doesn’t like starting a family. It could be just me but the first few chapters though funny weren’t that much convincing. However, as Annie comes to Salt Bay and we really get to see who she is, things start coming to place. Not only did I start to root for her, I have to admit I adored her. While you can expect from the title the book would be all about a Choir she and her friend resurrected, it’s actually in the back of the story. I wish we got to see more of that and their contribution. However, this story is about so many things. It’s about family, love, friendship and the community. It’s about discovering yourself again and again.
Overall, Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea is a wonderful start to a new series and one I’ll gladly follow and expect every new installment. If you’re looking for a feel good rom com set by the beautiful, picturesque Cornish seaside, no need to look any further. I’m definitely impressed with Liz Eeles’ writing and can see she really owns the rom com genre. I have a feeling we shall be hearing a lot about her in the future and I’m really thrilled any time I discover a new talented author. Gorgeous story with equally gorgeous characters (most of them) from a fresh, new and powerful voice on the chick lit scene.