Title: The Little Theatre by the Sea
Author: Rosanna Ley
Publication Date: 9 March 2017
I am delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for The Little Theatre by the Sea, the new release from Rosanna Ley.
Faye has just completed her degree in interior design when she finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less. While debating what to do next she receives a surprise phone call from her old college friend Charlotte who now lives in Sardinia and is married to Italian hotelier, Fabio.When Charlotte suggests that Faye relocate for a month to house-sit, Faye wonders if a summer break in sunny Sardinia might be the perfect way to recharge her batteries and think about her future. But then Charlotte tells Faye that there's something more behind the sudden invitation: her friends Marisa and Alessandro are looking for a designer to renovate a crumbling old theatre they own in the scenic village of Deriu. The idea certainly sounds appealing to Faye, but little does she know what she's letting herself in for if she accepts this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Thanks to Quercus for providing me with an advanced copy of The Little Theatre by the Sea and inviting me to take part in this blog tour.
The story follows Faye Forrester who, having from University after successfully completing her degree in Interior Design, finds herself flying to Sardinia to housesit for her school friend, Charlotte and her entrepreneurial husband Fabio. Faye’s visit has a dual purpose as she is also asked to advise on the renovation of a little village theatre. Unfortunately Faye soon finds herself unwittingly caught in the middle of a long-standing feud between the Deriu villagers and the Rinaldi family as to the ownership of the theatre.
The first thing to mention about this story is the setting. Ley does a fantastic job of transporting the reader into life in the relaxed, sun-kissed town of Deriu. She successfully captures the feeling of village life in Sardinia through her descriptions of the hidden coves, secret beaches and mouth-watering food. Whilst Sardinia is the predominate setting, Ley also takes her time to describe the charming historical county of Dorset, with its clifftop walks and small market towns – a quintessentially English setting.
The main draw for me whilst reading The Little Theatre by the Sea were the layers of history and long-held secrets which tie the characters to their lives. As those layers very gradually unfold, we learn more about those characters and their ties to either their families and/or to the theatre.
The way the story is told allows some fluidity to the characters. My feelings about them changed as the plot unfolded and this added some interest to the story. My main interest lay with the supporting characters of Pascale de Montis and Faye’s mother Molly – two characters so deeply affected by the past that they almost find it difficult to live in the present.
The story is told at a gentle pace which seems to mirror the pace of life in sunny Sardinia. It is only towards the very end that the pieces of the story are all tied together in quite a dramatic ending. It certainly held my interest until the end!
Overall, The Little Theatre by the Sea is an enjoyable read. Although, a word of warning, don’t read this book in the winter like I did as it makes you simply crave a holiday! It combines sunshine, beautiful settings, scrumptious food, romance and a little bit of intrigue – perfect for a summer read.
About the Author
Rosanna Ley is the bestselling author of novels including Return to Mandalay and The Villa and Last Dance in Havana. She has sold well over a million copies of her books. In February 2015 Return to Mandalay was shortlisted for the RNA Award for the Epic Romantic Novel. She has written numerous articles and short stories for magazines, and her novels have been published in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Norway, Hungary, Portugal, Lithuania, Turkey and the Czech Republic. The Villa is also published by Quercus in the US.
Rosanna has also worked as a creative writing tutor for over 20 years. She has led courses for colleges and universities in England, and runs her own writing retreats in the UK and abroad in Italy and Spain. She has worked with community groups in therapeutic settings and completed an MA in Creative Writing for Personal Development in order to support this. She also runs a manuscript appraisal service to appraise and mentor the work of new writers. She is married with children and lives in Dorset.
I'm the last stop on this tour, however you can catch up with the earlier posts as listed below:-