When Rosa and Bee get together in the run up to Bee's wedding, they reminisce about the holiday they took together as teenagers to the beautiful Greek island of Paros. They remember the sandy coves, the guest house in the converted windmill where they stayed with their friend Iona, and the gorgeous local men. As memories of that long-forgotten holiday resurface, they are forced to confront the turns their lives have taken and the guilt they both feel about letting Iona slip away from them.
When they learn that the windmill guesthouse is going bust, they form a plan: why not go back to the island and take it over themselves. And so begins a life-changing journey because it turns out that opening a guest house and reliving their teenage dreams isn't that easy.
Somehow I missed Vanessa Greene's last book, The Seafront Tearooms but I loved her first book The Vintage Teacup Club. The Beachside Guesthouse is full of the same warmth and friendship, with a beautiful Greek island location thrown in.
Vanessa Greene gives us three fantastic female leads, Rosa, Bee and Iona, The three girls visited the small of island of Paros when they were teenagers and they fell in love with the place. Years later they hear that the converted windmill they stayed in is up for sale so Bee and Rosa decide to return there to set up a guesthouse and build a new future. They let Iona know of their plans via letter but they don't expect a response seen as she bizarrely cut them out of her life several years ago,
All three women have different lives and struggles since being on Paros last time. How different will the island be now they are seeing it through adult eyes and how welcoming will the locals be of their new business venture?
I enjoyed Vanessa Greene's writing style, it is very warm and welcoming but also extremely witty in places. There is so much to interest the reader within the story; a new business venture; exploring the island; old relationships; new relationships, winning round the locals but most of all the book is about friendship and the important impact it can have.
The Greek island setting for this book was perfect and Vanessa Greene's descriptions were beautiful. I could imagine the crystal clear waters, the sun setting and the sounds and smells coming from the local markets and tavernas.
The Beachside Guesthouse is a really lovely read that I would highly recommend. This summer has been a bit of a disappointment weather-wise so why not allow Vanessa Greene to transport you to a beautiful island in the glittering Mediterranean sun?
Many thanks to the lovely people at Sphere for sending me a copy of this book to review.