A Cottage by the Sea – Carole Matthews

Three friends who have been together in each others lives since university, find themselves together in a cottage by the sea. But after ten years have they changed and has their friendship changed? And will it survive a week in a cottage, away from civilisation, with no mobile phone signal and also with their partners in tow?

The cottage belongs to Ella, it was her parents and they have both died and left Ella this cottage which has wonderful memories of happy times there. She is at a point in her life where her art is becoming well-known and loved, demanding a good price but she wants something else, something more basic. She wants stability and possibly a family. Her man Art does not seem to want commitment, more he wants to live his life, like the music stars he manages. Here are two characters that are coasting along together with neither one of them brave enough to make the break away.

Sometimes you need to throw other people into your lives to realise what it is you want and what you might be missing. So when Grace and her husband Harry arrive at the cottage it looks like they are just coasting too and need to re-engage with each other. Grace thinks this is an ideal place. Harry on the other hand does not. It is not abroad, it is not hot and there is no phone signal. The answer for Harry is in the bottom of a bottle. Plenty of bottles. Grace finds a freedom she never knew she was missing as she explores the scenery and all the thrills that this area can give her. She re-engage with herself and realises that perhaps something is wrong, is she brave enough to do anything about it. Or will events make the decision for her.

Felicity, ‘Flick’ has never coasted, she knows what she wants and she gets it. But she is missing something and she decides that perhaps she needs to make a commitment that her friends have made. So with a new beau in Noah, she thinks this could be the right time.

What could possibly go wrong on this week away? With too many secrets and distractions, the friendship of these three women changes forever and it seems that perhaps if you want something badly enough in this world you have to do anything and everything to get it.

This book is meant to be that idyllic holiday escape but it shows that you may escape a place but you cannot escape the lies and secrets of your life. They go with you wherever you go. An absorbing read, which shows how friendship can be tested and how it can also endure.

This is another author discovery for me. I fell in love with the cover of the book, there seemed something so escapist, quiet and gentle about it. I was taken right to that cottage, I wanted to move in and spend a week or two. To hear the sea as I laid in bed, to have no phone signal. To watch the sun in the morning rise and see the weather change quickly. Whilst indulging in peace and with people I loved. Although I would not want any of the upset that went on this book. 

I am looking forward to reading other Carole Matthews books now especially if they are as good as this one. 

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