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Romance novel set on the coast of Spain + 3 copy giveaway

14th May 2017

The Summer House by the Sea by Jenny Oliver, romance novel set on the coast of Spain.

The Summer House by the Sea is set in fictional Mariposa on the Spanish coast in Catalonia. The actual Summer House is but a taxi ride from Barcelona airport.

Romance novel set on the coast of Spain

Ava has suffered a near death experience with the number 281 bus (which would make West London the setting for this particular incident), whilst checking her WhatsApp feed. She then has to face the funeral of her beloved Grandmother, Val, in Spain. Together with her brother Rory, who is cranky, determined and work obsessed, she has decisions to make, not only about the future of the house – the Summer House of the title – which their grandmother has left, but also about her own life. Ava wants to keep the house, Rory wants to sell, things can surely only come to a head?

Ava soon has the bit between her teeth and wants a spell of reflection to go through her life’s story contained in the Blog panelhouse in Spain. So she promptly returns to Spain. Her own mother, it transpires mainly from letters, was not a very good mother to her children.  The truth of her behaviour is quite a blow.

Meanwhile Rory, back in England, is trying to fire up his waning career. He is covering the cute scenario of a goose and a swan shacking up together in an upturned shopping trolley in the middle of a pond – #swanlovesgoose. But nothing much happens and he resorts to desperate tactics which become public knowledge. A Twitter storm ensues from which he has to escape. And escape he does to the Summer House taking his young son Max with him. Of course, Ava is already there!

The siblings are now in retreat from the internet, it’s time for a digital detox as they bask in the sun, and chew over their joint and individual lives. Brother and sister find, of course, that it’s not that easy to cut off from modern life on the web! Work calls, personal calls….Discoveries are made, secrets shared. Rory begins to realise that there has been no room for his wife in his marriage because of his rather controlling nature and large ego. He finds he is on his own personal road to Damascus when it comes to his relationship….

The old Café Estrella, at the heart of their childhood Summer holidays, has become a shadow of the bustling enterprise it once was, and Rory essentially takes it on as a project to support Val’s aged friend Flora. It would be wonderful to get it back on its feet. Maybe life in Spain would be sweeter for him and his family?

Ava catches the eye of a one time screen star, a rather louche older lothario living out his life on the Spanish coast, a bit of a roué with a raunchy reputation and a rather nice vineyard. For me, the frisson of attraction between the two just didn’t feel plausible, tempted by his advances as she seemingly was. She may have been drawn to him because her own father was absent throughout her childhood, but it’s a theme that is not really explored.

Lots of intergenerational relationship dynamics keep the plot moving along, together with comedic moments, some nice little character observations and quick fire dialogue to add a little sparkle. Possibly there is an overload of  “themes’ that cannot all satisfactorily be explored in a single novel.

Setting is evocative, it is something that the author does well, and she credibly transports her readers to Spain. The variety of tasty foods – octopus, cioccolato con churros and more – is all very mouth-watering; the vistas are blue, sunny and warm. “I’d like to live in Spain for the summer, wouldn’t you? The beach, the sea, fresh figs and little coffees and tapas. It’d be amazing”. It certainly would!

A nice Summer read.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

OUR 3 COPY GIVEAWAY (closes midnight Saturday, 20th May):

51jiiHPJKJL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_Thanks to Midas PR we have THREE copies of The Summer House by the Sea by Jenny Oliver to give away (open for international entrants as well as those UK based!). Just leave a comment by midnight BST on 20th May about Spain – perhaps your top tips, holidays you have had, places you would like to see – and we will pick three names out of the hat on Sunday, 21st May. “Travel to Spain through fiction”

You can follow Jenny on Twitter,  Facebook  and via her website

Come and join team TripFiction on Social Media:

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For many more books to transport you to all around Spain, just click here!

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  1. User: tripfiction

    Posted on: 21/05/2017 at 9:40 am

    We have three winners, drawn out of the hat this morning. Thank you to all who entered!

    Carole, Philliippa and Claire


  2. User: Annegret

    Posted on: 18/05/2017 at 10:20 pm

    I would love to visit Barcelona!


  3. User: Charolette Romero

    Posted on: 17/05/2017 at 2:54 pm

    I think I would like to vist Hawaii or Spain


  4. User: Susan I

    Posted on: 15/05/2017 at 1:39 pm

    I would love to visit Spain. Since reading The Shellseekers by Rosamunde Pilcher many years ago, I’ve wanted to visit Ibiza, but it may be too touristy? Barcelona would be fabulous too, I’m sure.


  5. User: Joanne Gaylor

    Posted on: 15/05/2017 at 12:17 pm

    I’ve been to Benidorm, Majorca and Menorca. Guess which one was before I settled down? 😉


  6. User: Mariasole

    Posted on: 15/05/2017 at 11:11 am

    I have been to Madrid and Barcelona and would recommend a long weekend in both, they are different yet both great. Loads to do, see, drink and eat!


  7. User: Barbara Khan

    Posted on: 15/05/2017 at 11:01 am

    I have been to Barcelona and Madrid. I really would love to see the Andalusia region and the area around Ronda. I also hope to walk part of the Camino de Santiago with my sister.


  8. User: Susan T.

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 10:54 pm

    I would love to visit Spain for the food of course, but also the architecture. The Alhambra and the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia would be top of the list!


  9. User: Sue Dawson

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 7:50 pm

    Sounds a brilliant read, just what I want to cheer me up now the builders have gone and our works starts, no holiday this year!


  10. User: JillB

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 3:47 pm

    Camping in Playa D’Aro 40+ years ago and all the roads in the campsite being washed away to bedrock during the biggest thunderstorm I have ever seen!


  11. User: claire Thorpe

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 3:41 pm

    I love Spain – especially the villages near to Granada, so unspoilt, orange & lemon trees, beautiful mountains and tapas free with drinks! Whats not to love!!! Oh and the SUNSHINE!


  12. User: Paz

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 3:05 pm

    We once stayed at Tossa De Mar and LOVED it as the beach was beautiful and the little town was utterly charming.


  13. User: Jennifer Huelsebusch

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 2:39 pm

    I would love to visit Spain! Sounds like a fun read!


  14. User: Amy

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 2:27 pm

    I have always wanted to see Barcelona and Ronda.


  15. User: Philliipa Jackson

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 1:57 pm

    I love Mallorca and have been a number of times. My husband and I are both 50 this year and thinking of a trip to Barcelona as we both really enjoy tapas, paella and rioja! would love to win the book – finishing chemo and reading helps me rest and relax.


  16. User: Lindsay Burton

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 1:01 pm

    I love Barcelona it is truly one of my favourite places in Europe. I have been 5 times already and I’m busy planning a return trip in August this year.


  17. User: Jane Dunning

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 12:40 pm

    This would be the perfect read for me as I like Spain very much but the sea even more, especially the Mediterranean!


  18. User: Linda

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 12:27 pm

    Ironically, I’m off to Spain tomorrow! Last time, there was an attempt to blow up our hotel with a car bomb!


  19. User: Susan Lacey

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 12:26 pm

    My first experience of Spain was Catalona and so it will always have a special place in my heart. I love the mix of sophistication and fierce independence of the region – and Barcelona is a wonderful city to walk and walk and walk.


  20. User: Leila Benhamida

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 12:02 pm

    My favourite holiday place is the South of France where I have been countless times and enjoy the food, the warm welcome and sceneries, i also speak fluent French. This summer I will be visiting Tenerife for the first time and will have to perfection my Spanish and discover the island. Wonderful prize.


  21. User: Mary Lucking

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 11:48 am

    I would like to visit Barcelona. I have only been to Majorca once so a return visit is needed


  22. User: Jess D

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 11:33 am

    I would love to visit the Valencia area.


  23. User: Eva Pasco

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 11:17 am

    The book sounds intriguing. If I ever traveled to Spain, I would like to include Toledo in my tour for its art and architecture.


  24. User: Jane Willis

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 11:07 am

    The only place in Spain I have visited is Seville, a truly fascinating city, but I would love to go to Barcelona to see Gaudi’s architecture


  25. User: Frankie

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 10:49 am

    Oh wow!! I would love to win a copy.


  26. User: Barbara Douka

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 10:23 am

    I would like so much to visit Barcelona and many traditional villages.


  27. User: Carole Colbert

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 9:51 am

    Always, always use a good sunscreen when out in the hot sun in Spain! Especially if you’re pale like me!


  28. User: Marie

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 9:43 am

    What a great giveaway! I’ve always wanted to visit Spain!


    1 Comment

    • User: Gill Burn

      Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 10:58 am

      I’ve never been to mainland Spain but planning a trip to Barcelona later this summer. Seville and Granada are also on my list.


  29. User: Leah Tonna

    Posted on: 14/05/2017 at 9:24 am

    I’ve always wanted to see Barcelona…& somehow never have. I frequently visit sites with photos, reviews, etc…& love to read about my “dream” city….Maybe one day!