New Book – The Beach Hut Next Door by Veronica Henry

beach-hutç

Publishing year: 2014

This new book introduces us to a group of characters whose element in common are the beach huts they own.

The novel starts in the winter. We are first introduced to Elodie who buys a property, called the Grey House. From her memories that go back fifty years, we can guess that Elodie is in her sixties, and this isn’t the first time she sets foot in the house. We don’t know much about her, but it seems that the summer she spent in this house fifty years ago shaped her life, and in those memories she recalls a boy on a motorcycle, who I guess meant a lot for her back then.

After Elodie, we are introduced to Vince Maskell, who is a fisherman along his brother Chris. Vince is worried about his brother since he drinks too much on a daily basis. Vince also has a friend, Murphy, who now proposes him to join him in an entrepreneurial venture. Murphy has acquired a restaurant at the beach and wants Vince to invest in it. Even though he’s reluctant at first, Vince finally caves in and accepts. The problem for Vince is that he’s in love with Murphy’s wife, Anna, and he knows that in this new venture he’s likely to see Anna more than his heart can endure. Poor Vincent. This is a very delicate position. I hope nothing happens between Anna and him because I wouldn’t like him to betray his friend. I really hope he finds a new hope and a new love.

And the last character we get to know is Jenna. She’s a girl of limited means, whose family has had their share of problems with the law. Yet, now Jenna is dating Craig, a policeman, and she thinks that thanks to Craig, she hasn’t followed the path leading her to problems. Jenna intends to prove to Craig that she can look after herself, so since she worked as an ice cream girl a while ago, she intends to buy an ice cream van, but she has no money. The bank refuses to give her a credit, and then when she goes to the pub, she finds Chris, Vince’s brother. Through her we learn why Chris drinks himself to oblivion. His father was washed overboard in a storm when he and his sons were out at sea. Chris blames himself and that’s why he drinks. Feeling frustrated, Jenna tells him a few truths about his drinking and Chris storms out. The following day, Jenna goes back to the bank and through courage she proves to the bank manager she’ll have a good business if they lend her the money. So she finally gets the money and buys the van. She also gets a nice surprise. Her words to Chris had an effect, and Chris has not drunk anything for days. Chris helps her with the van in the end. I like the dynamics between Chris and Jenna. I wonder if something else will happen between the two of them. Jenna mentions she considers Chris just somebody she’s known forever, but I still wonder… Jenna is in a relationship with the policeman, and she is really happy, but who knows?

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