Tuesday 27 October 2015

Reviewed: The Little Kiosk By The Sea by Jennifer Bohnet

The Little Kiosk By The Sea was published by Carina on August 18, 2015.

Thanks to Jennifer for sending me a copy of this book to review.

The Little Kiosk by the Sea was a thoroughly charming, captivating read by Jennifer Bohnet – a beautiful escape from the cold, dreary weather that is upon us now. The prologue to this book stole my attention straight away and honestly, it never let me go as I just kept on reading, eager to spend more time in the lovely Dartmouth location and to get to know more about the characters that kept on cropping up. The prologue introduces the reader to the kiosk in the title and well, straight away I wanted to be there. Initially, I found myself wanting to be one of the holidaymakers, spending a few blissful days there when the kiosk returned for the summer. By the end of this novel, I wanted instead to be one of the locals so I could enjoy the picturesque, gorgeous location months at a time. The prologue set the scene so beautifully – with Jennifer’s effortless descriptive writing being a joy to read, and also evident throughout the entire book, too. Everything about this book was lovely and enchanting.

There are a lot of main characters in The Little Kiosk by the Sea. Each chapter, told in third person, focuses on a different character and we see Sabine, Harriet, Johnnie, Rachel, Ellie and BB in the first six chapters alone. When I was reading this to begin with, I did feel like the new characters were never going to stop being introduced and I thought I might get them all mixed up but actually it never felt that way because the characters were all easily defined and all in some form had a link to one another - whether tenuous or not. Though it felt like more detail had been put into enhancing the setting rather than building a big picture of each character, I still felt like I knew each one of them well and their characteristics too. I felt like I knew them more as friends rather than characters in a book because they were all likeable people you could relate to, just muddling their way through life like the rest of us.

Sabine, who worked in the little kiosk, was my favourite character, although I did have a bit of a soft spot for the friend who kept on proposing to her, despite one rejection after another. The future of the kiosk is in doubt and she’s fighting to keep it, which is something that I felt helped me root for her because I was drawn to the kiosk within the first page of the book. Johnnie, Sabine’s brother, was also extremely easy to like and I was interested to see where his life would head as you could see how his late wife was still well on his mind. I enjoyed reading the strong, supportive relationship he had with Sabine and the change in Johnnie’s life was not something I had been expecting, which I also liked. Harriet is returning to Dartmouth after many years away and as her part in the story overlaps with Ellie’s, her daughter, I was intrigued to see how things would work out for their family. Though I did sympathise with her early on, Ellie was probably the character I connected with the least but still, there wasn’t any character I really didn’t want a happy ending for. I loved Rachel’s character and also the subtle twist in her story the author worked in. BB was the character I felt like I knew the least but he still had an important role to play and I loved how Jennifer intricately connected all of her characters and the seams were faultless and played out so effortlessly and effectively. When I finished the book, there wasn’t a single character or moment in this book that felt unnecessary. Every little strand cleverly combined to make the entertainment factor never-ending.

As the return of the kiosk to Dartmouth signalled the change of season, it also represented how the lives of the characters in the book were about to change too, some more noticeably than others. There were far more secrets and twists in the lives of these characters than I had been expecting and I loved how there was always more to come. One of the most endearing things about The Little Kiosk by the Sea was the gentle pace which made the story feel light and refreshing. That, along with the short chapters, made the book a quick, relaxing read which you will no doubt breeze through with a smile on your face. Although I adored the pacing to this book, and there are few books I’ve enjoyed like this in recent months, I felt like it contributed to a small lack of development in some of the changes the characters faced. Big life changes were met with a brief reaction but the upheaval was quickly accepted and moved on from. Though it was quite nice to avoid all the drama, I did think at times it was a bit unrealistic how no one kicked up more of a fuss or questioned things more. But having said that, the ease with which the characters got on with the changes in their lives enhanced the calm and comforting feel of the kiosk and made it feel like an utterly delightful place to be. The Little Kiosk by the Sea is a gorgeous summery read but it makes for wonderful reading any time of the year and set at an irresistible pace, it’s the perfect book to escape into over the course of an afternoon. With a fascinating focus on family relationships, mixed with surprising secrets and a small slice of romance, it’s an extremely satisfying and beautifully told book – I loved it.

A lovely, relaxing summmery read with an air of mystery that wills you to read on


  1. I've never heard of this one before, but I love books about groups of people and how they all relate to one another. I'll have to see if my library has this one.

    Glad to have found you via the Bloggers Commenting Back database!


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