Monday, 18 June 2018

Books Read: Somewhere Beyond the Sea by Miranda Dickinson

Can you fall in love with someone before you’ve even met?

Seren MacArthur is living a life she never intended. Trying to save the Cornish seaside business her late father built – while grieving for his loss – she has put her own dreams on hold and is struggling. Until she discovers a half-finished seaglass star on her favourite beach during an early morning walk. When she completes the star, she sets into motion a chain of events that will steal her heart and challenge everything she believes.

Jack Dixon is trying to secure a better life for daughter Nessie and himself. Left a widower and homeless when his wife died, he’s just about keeping their heads above water. Finding seaglass stars completed on Gwithian beach is a bright spark that slowly rekindles his hope.

Seren and Jack are searching for their missing pieces. But when they meet in real life, it’s on the opposing sides of a battle. Jack is managing the redevelopment of a local landmark, and Seren is leading the community campaign to save it.

Both have reason to fight – Seren for the cause her father believed in, Jack for his livelihood. But only one can win. With so much at stake, will they ever find what they are really looking for?

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I'd like to thank Annabelle at ED PR for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and for my copy of Somewhere Beyond the Sea to review.

Over the years Miranda Dickinson has become one of my go-to authors whose books I will pick up to read without even reading the blurb as I know that when I read one of her books I will find characters I will fall in love with and stories full of heart.  And Somewhere Beyond the Sea is no different as we meet Seren and Jack, two strangers who have never met but have more in common than they can ever imagine.

I instantly knew that this was a story that was going to be one that I would fall in love with from the opening chapter when we first meet Seren as she's taking a walk with her dog on a deserted beach and discovers the incomplete seaglass star that Jack and his seven year old daughter Nessie didn't manage to complete that she decides to finish.  I found myself like Seren and Jack drawn in wanting to discover the next star as the stars got more elaborate with notes and gifts being left, to see the will they/won't they ever find out who the other star maker is play out.  Both Jack and Seren seemed to get a lift from the making of the stars as both had outside pressures that they were dealing with and those few moments of escapism on the beach seem to give them a little hope.

The story is told in alternate chapters from Seren and Jack so you really get to see both sides of the cat and mouse game that is played, first with the building and completing of the stars on the beach and then on the opposing sides of a community debate regarding the planned proposal to demolish and redevlop a local landmark that once belonged to Elinor Crane, a renowned astronomist.  Both Seren and Jack are dealing with grief and the consequences of losing someone from their lives, Seren has taken on the burden of carrying on her father's struggling business whereas Jack has had to sell his house and relocate following the sudden death of his wife leaving him to bring up Nessie on his own.

The campaign to save the local Parsonage was her father's idea and one that the locals have asked Seren to continue with the campaign, whereas for Jack it's an opportunity for a paid job to enable him to provide for Nessie.  Although his boss is known for his knock em up properties, Jack has a reputation for using locally-sourced natural materials so he hopes to be able to do justice to the redevelopment that will respect the heritage of the property. 

Despite Cornwall only being a couple of hours away from where I live I have only ever been there once, and never to the St. Ives area, but the descriptive writing within the pages of this book really gave me a sense of feel for the area, what it's like in the up and down seasons, and made me want to discover a seaglass star myself... I know that Seren and Jack are only characters in this book so I probably wouldn't find one but you never know.

This really was a magical, heart-warmer of a story, one that had me feeling all the feels as I became a cheerleader for Seren and Jack.  It's a story of love, hope and dreams that makes it the perfect Summer read so make sure you pick up a copy, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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