The Guestbook by Holly Martin

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Read: 27 January 2014
Why: Copy received as part of the Gosling Girls Book Tour

Rating: 5 stars

Brief synopsis: Welcome to Willow Cottage!

Located on the Norfolk coast, the cottage is ideally situated for long strolls and picnics on the beach plus the odd bit of seal spotting. And if there’s anything else you need, landlady Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider.

So throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook!

Through the pages of the Guestbook, Annie and her guests that struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

What I thought: This book is BLOODY BRILLIANT!

I’ve never read anything like this before – the story is told, not in the traditional novel format, but as the title suggests, through entries in The Guestbook. Some guests use is as a diary during their stay whilst others use it simply to communicate with Annie. But the one thing I’d say they all had in common… they’re all a little more open and honest when hiding behind its pages!

Despite Annie being the central character, I really liked that her story didn’t seem to take over the book as there were some fantastic guest stories. The guest entries really added a lot of variety into the story; some funny, some a little scary and some really quite sad. The author did such a fantastic job of capturing the voice of each character, it really did feel as though the entries were all written by different people.

There were so many amazing characters but I think my favourite had to be young Megan Meecham for her sweet innocence and wisdom beyond her 6.5/7 years!

I can’t wait to see what comes next from this very lovely author.

Favourite quote:
Courtesy of Megan, aged 7 “I SAID THAT MR BUTTERWORTH THE ONE THAT IS STILL ALIVE SHOULD MARRY ANNIE AND MUMMY SAID THAT IT DOESNT WORK LIKE THAT BECAUSE WHEN YOU GET MARRIED BOTH PEOPLE NEED TO LOVE EACH OTHER VERY MUCH. BUT LAST TIME WE WERE HERE MR BUTTERWORTH, THE ALIVE ONE, KEPT GIVING ANNIE LOOKS THE SAME LOOKS THAT DADDY GIVES MUMMY THAT SHOWS THAT DADDY LOVES MUMMY MORE THAN CHOCOLATE. DADDY LOVES CHOCOLATE VERY MUCH.”

Available to buy now from Amazon

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