I’m really happy to share my stop on the blog tour for Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea with Ali The Dragon Slayer!
Title: Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea
Author: Liz Eeles
Date of publication: May 18th 2017
Number of pages: 331
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.
Just like Annie, it was curiosity which spurred me on an adventure with this book. I am not fond of choirs, probably because I have the most terrible voice, but something in the colorful cover and the light-hearted synopsis caught my attention. Whatever it was, I thank it, for I have found so much more than I was looking for in this story of belonging, family ties, and finding yourself.
I’m heading for thirty and I’m not the most important person in the world to anyone.
Annie has no attach, and I found this heart-breaking, although she seemed to like it this way. I agree with her, it is much less complicated when family doesn’t mess up your plans. But families do a lot more than this, if you let it. People too, if you let them in.
I was surprised to warm to Annie very very fast despite our different views on life and its priorities. I could feel the scars on her heart from being alone, no matter how much she tried to convince herself she was better off this way. I know what it’s like to put up a front and pretend it doesn’t matter. The thing is, it does matter.
Don’t you hate your inner voice when it’s being a right bitch?
Liz Eeles never falls into clichés and Annie felt genuine and like an average young woman with her own history and struggles. This is true for every character. I really enjoyed meeting everyone in this little town. Sometimes, you don’t know you need warmth and happiness until a book reminds you of how good it feels, and this is what Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea does with a clever mix of different protagonists, a beautiful place, and an exquisite writing that transports you and reminds you to feel, and how to laugh! Annie’s voice is one of the most amazing I’ve read and this book is just a big bubble of amazing lines!
He’s either being very kind or implying my arse is the size of a small country.
There are no one-dimensional characters, no easy paths, no “everything is fine in the world” paragraphs that make me roll my eyes. This book is filled with what life has to offer, and boy does it have a lot to give! I loved every minute of this story. Me, the crime lover, detective, grisly murders details-seeker. I was surprised by the depth of the plot and the psychology behind the events, behind the motivations of each protagonist, behind the appearances. I was intrigued by the choir, who took its time to appear, and found it to be a truly perfect tool to build a story around, to bring a town to life with, to tackle the past and pay it tribute.
The story takes its time, but the pace doesn’t feel slow. It reminded me of the landscape you see when you let you eyes wander off the window during a train trip. You are not aware of it, but things happen, things change, you happen, you change. It was wonderful to see Annie find answers, questions, a purpose, more questions!, and her true self. I loved Annie’s path to find what she really wants and it resonated so much with me that it gave me shivers! Yes, family come with its fair share of… let’s say weight and obligations, but families, whether blood or chosen, without painting it all rainbows and unicorns, are a rock you can crash on, a shoulder you can find whenever you need, a bunch of people to share the best things in life with. Sometimes we take it for granted, and sometimes we ignore its importance. Yes, it’s complicated, but life is too. This book reminded me just how much I treasure my family and friends and those old and new photos on my fridge of happy faces and calendars with birthdays on it.
Friends also play a wonderful part here and I am so happy to see a young woman strike up relationships, discover everyone isn’t looking down at the pavement, stressed, and only thinking about work, and that cute and gentlemen guys still exist. My cold heart was very happy to see Annie get out of her shell and into the world.
They were things I thought I never wanted because I thought they did not want me, but I was wrong.
Nothing in the story was ever forced, it always felt so true and real I finished the book with a smile on my face. Annie’s Little Choir by the Sea is so much more than a light read, it’s a life lesson taught in the best of ways, with enough humor to make your cheeks hurt from grinning and laughing!
I would like to thank Bookouture for inviting me to join this blog tour. This unbiased review is my humble participation.
Liz began her writing career as a journalist for newspapers and magazines before moving into the health sector as a communications manager and press officer. The low point of her career was abandoning an interview with Cliff Richard after two questions because she was about to faint – her excuse is that she was newly pregnant at the time.
Liz is from Gloucestershire but now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and grown-up daughter. She spends a lot of time meaning to meditate, avoiding exercise, and missing her son who lives in London.
Find out more about the book in the other blog tour stops!!