The bench by Cromer beach by RJ Gould

Very English, very wonderful

My rating:  4 out of 5

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One year in the life of 5 people in Cromer, Norfolk.  A beautiful novel of relationships and managing change. 

Clive has just retired, and moved to Cromer with his wife.

Saskia has moved from London, with her husband

Ellie is exhausted with motherhood, and is finding her husband’s frequent trips abroad difficult to cope with

Andy is dreaming of his wedding

Jamie is making profits from antiques, by being dishonest

They all live in Cromer, and their lives intertwine to varying levels. 

This is a wonderful story of life.  Clive is my favourite character as we learn, through his eyes, about the joys and irritations of his long term marriage,  and how he feels about spending more time with his wife now that he is retired.  As the year passes so all the characters come alive,  and the author’s gentle writing style, with humour and charm, make this a lovely read.  As  with life, not everything is perfect at the end of the book, however I felt I knew these characters well, and had great hopes for them going forward. 

From reading this book I would love to visit Cromer, the beaches and the coastal paths.  It is unlikely that I ever will, however a quick google of the town makes everything seem all the more real. 

4*s for this satisfying novel about life as it really is.  No extra dramas and needless action, just everyday lives looked at with compassion where the characters seek to resolve any problems to make the best of things and life.  A lovely, positive, read for all ages, but a great present for anyone nearing, or in,  retirement. 

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