My grateful thanks to Clara Diaz at Little Brown for a copy of Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara in return for an honest review. I so loved Ali’s The Summer of Serendipity, my review of which you can read here, that I was delighted to receive a copy of Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van.
Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van will be published by Sphere, a Little Brown imprint, on 14th June 2018 and is available for purchase here.
Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van
Welcome to the gorgeous Cornish town of St Felix, where there’s magic in the air…
When Ana inherits a broken-down camper van from her best friend, she takes the chance for a quick trip to Cornwall – some sea air and fish and chips on the beach is just the tonic she needs.
But St Felix has bigger plans for Ana. She discovers a series of unsent postcards, dating back to the 1950s, hidden in the upholstery of the van. Ana knows that it’s a sign: she’ll make sure that the messages reach the person that they were meant for. And as the broken-down van is restored to gleaming health, so Ana begins to find her way back to happiness.
My Review of Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van
When Ana inherits a wrecked camper van from her best friend Daisy, it will be more than the vehicle that needs fixing.
Now, in the interests of complete honesty, I have one small niggle that I am going to get out of the way before I review Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van properly. Occasionally, the tenses seem to wander a bit and it took me a while to tune in to how they are used.
That small aspect aside I absolutely adored Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van. Ali McNamara writes with such genuine compassion and love behind her words that reading is Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van an uplifting and joyful experience.
The Cornish setting of St Felix is so well described that reading the book is akin to taking a holiday and I genuinely felt refreshed after reading the story. It was as if it had taken me out of the mundanity of life into a slightly magical world for a while. The 1980s references were perfect for me too, as that is a decade I remember only too well, so that as well as enjoying a lovely story, happy memories were rekindled for me.
All the characters are absolutely delightful. What Ali McNamara has done is to create both setting and characters that are positive and agreeable without them being saccharine or unbelievable. Noah and Ana have their flaws but they are never deliberately unkind and this makes such a refreshing change. Malachi in particular is a gladdening creation and the mystery surrounding him works both on a mystical or conventional level so that the reader can bring their own feelings and beliefs to the story too and enjoy it on a very personal level. Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van allows the reader to escape real life for a while in a totally satisfying and absorbing read.
I loved the plot. The romantic notion of trying to track down the writer of undelivered postcards thoroughly appealed to the idealist in me and I so wanted that element to have a happy ending. You’ll have to read Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van for yourself to find out what happens.
As well as the positive, uplifting and frequently humorous elements (especially where Malachi is concerned) Ali McNamara doesn’t shy away from deeper and more difficult elements to underpin her narrative. Themes of identity, illness, death and grief, looking for happiness and relationships are all explored so that although I thought Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van would just be a light, entertaining but possibly insubstantial story, I was quite wrong. It’s certainly entertaining, but there are many levels on which it can be enjoyed because there’s so much more depth than anticipated, making it a fabulous read.
Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van is sheer, magical escapism and I loved it.
About Ali McNamara
Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing – being an only child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.
When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating’s website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too.