Can a magical place change your life?

  • Book: A Cottage by the Sea
  • Location: Pembrokeshire
  • Author: Carole Matthews



A cottage clinging to cliffs in a remote and un-trendy part of Pembrokeshire divides six people into two camps: those who see a week there as a wonderful opportunity for paddling in the sea, blowing off the cobwebs, snoozing on golden sand, painting, maybe learning to surf and the others who think it’s boring and there’s nothing to do except open another bottle of wine. ‘Do I look like a cottage by the sea man?’ asks Art, which is unfortunate given that his long-term girlfriend, who inherited the place from her parents, loves it and has invited her best friends Flick and Grace to stay.
For girls who dream of such idyllic hideaways from the fuss of city life, Noah on the other hand is the ideal fantasy: an outdoors man, but sensitive, kind, patient, unencumbered by difficult baggage, and seemingly good at everything from cooking (without making a song and dance about it) to ping pong.
None of his finer qualities are lost on Grace, who falls instantly for both cottage and Noah. But she’s married, although she and her husband have been growing apart ‘I’m hoping this week will help us to sort things out a bit,’ she says optimistically. And Noah’s there as the grand new love of Flick, one of her best friends. So there’s nothing for it but for Grace to make the most of this place and the company of the man who has inappropriately turned her head enjoy the walks down the beach in the rain, the island trips to see puffins and seals, leaping off rugged cliffs into churning seas, feeling her spirit come alive, conjuring the crazy idea of running a tea room in such a place – then go back to her partnership of an accountancy firm in London and forget all about it.
Unless… will it somehow work itself out before the end of the holiday? Has everyone arrived with a secret?
Perhaps a week in a magical place, at close quarters with your loved ones, no phone or internet and some extreme weather, can change a life for the better. And perhaps being in the right place is how to meet the right person for who you’ve become, to get out of the rut and back in touch with what you actually want to do with your life.
With the simplicity of a good play or film, this delightfully more-ish book will throw you into one camp or the other. Could you see yourself wearing a plastic bin bag and no knickers to dinner, if push came to shove? Expect an entertaining and engrossing read about friendships and relationships, growing up and moving on in life – and expect Pembrokeshire ‘coasteering’ to become all the rage.

Back to book

Sign up to receive our e-newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.