The Summer That Changed Us – Cathy Bramley

Published By: Orion
Pages: 396
Released On: 03/03/2022

The sparkling seaside village of Merle Bay, with its beautiful beach scattered with seaglass, is a place where anyone can have a fresh start.

For Katie, it is the perfect hideout after a childhood trauma left her feeling exposed. For Robyn, the fresh sea air is helping to heal her scars, but maybe not her marriage. For Grace, a new start could help her move on from a heartbreaking loss. When they meet on Seaglass Beach one day, they form an instant bond and soon they’re sharing Prosecco, laughter – and even their biggest secrets.

Together, the women feel stronger than ever before. So can their friendship help them face old fears and find happy endings – as well as new beginnings?

*****

Thanks to Orion for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Bramley’s book ”My Kind of Happy” was one of my favourite books of 2021 and I even bought further copies for friends and relatives. It had been my only Bramley book read but was jumping for joy (not literally, I don’t want to break a hip) when this new ones came my way.

I find all the villages I’m these so-called “happily-ever-after” books just sound idyllic, and Merle Bay is no different. Can I just live in a rom-com novel already?

I did get a little confused at first with the flicking between narrative viewpoints, but once they started going together, I quickly got on top of it and it flowed nicely.

This is more serious than the other book I’ve read, much more grown-up with some very serious conversations. There’s talk of cancer, surgery, money worries affairs, blackmail, nudity, death, grieving, but they’re dealt with in a sensitive manner.

It really warms you up; it’s joyful and uplifting and above all, no matter how bad things may seem, there’s always a positive, and things will always work out the way they’re meant to.

It is a love story at heart, but for me, rather than a romantic love, it’s a love for our friends and for ourselves.

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