My enormous thanks to Kate Straker at Atlantic and Allen and Unwin Books for a surprise copy of The Juniper Gin Joint by Lizzie Lovell in return for an honest review.
The Juniper Gin Joint was published in the UK on 5th July 2018 and is available for purchase through the links here.
The Juniper Gin Joint
It’s been a tough year for Jennifer in her seaside Devon town. Her kids have left home for pastures new and her husband has left home for another woman.
Home alone with her eccentric home-brewing father and a Jack Russell, she is just getting her life back on track when her job at the local museum is threatened by her first love and nemesis, Councillor David Bourton, who intends to sell the beautiful old building to a pub chain. But help is at hand from her colleagues: Jackie, a former Greenham warrior, Tish, a flamboyant historian, and Carol, mega-flirt. Plus newcomer and former campaigner, Tom Bassett. Who happens to be a widower. And quite sexy. And also the owner of a Jack Russell.
The key to saving the day and putting the town back on the tourist map could lie just within reach, when reaching for a cold gin and tonic that is. Mother’s Ruin to some, gin is the making of Jennifer when she comes together with her friends and family to save the museum and open an artisan distillery in the basement.
With its debauched local history of smuggling, can gin be the town’s saviour and bring love back into Jennifer’s life?
My Review of The Juniper Gin Joint
Life has been tricky of late for Jennifer and it isn’t about to get any easier!
I loved The Juniper Gin Joint. There have been several books with similar titles and themes in recent times, but The Juniper Gin Joint is a cut above the rest because of the smooth quality of Lizzie Lovell’s writing and the sheer joy of having a slightly older cast of characters as Jennifer approaches her 50th birthday. In fact, I gulped down this book in one sitting – rather like I might attack one of Jennifer’s dad’s gin concoctions!
There’s such a feel good atmosphere to The Juniper Gin Joint. By the very nature of the genre it’s obvious that things will work out somehow, but the journey to getting there in Lizzie Lovell’s writing feels natural, mature and completely engaging. It’s also very funny at times too so as well as enjoying a captivating story I was entertained and made to laugh – and shed a little tear once or twice too. There’s romance and relationships, corruption and identity, sexuality and infidelity so that I really do think this lovely book has something for everyone. Each chapter has the perfect hook to lead the reader on.
Jennifer’s narrative voice is strong and clear and it feels as if she is talking directly to the reader. I truly felt I knew her as a friend by the end of the book. All the characters complement the plot and one another – even the animals so there is a smooth and enticing quality to the book. I certainly wouldn’t mind bumping in to Tom on occasion…
The Juniper Gin Joint is never going to be ranked as classic literature in the realms of Tolstoy or Dickens, but as an example of its genre – feel good, fabulous fiction just perfect on a sunny afternoon or next to the fire on a chilly winter’s evening – it is just perfect. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more as I absolutely loved it. Wonderful stuff.
About Lizzie Lovell
Lizzie Lovell was born and brought up in the West Country and now lives in an old house in the seaside town of Dawlish with its red cliffs and dodgy railway line. She has three adult children, two of them yet to fly the nest. She can be found walking the Devon lanes with her Tibetan Terriers. Or drinking gin.