My grateful thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Caroline James’s Boomerville at Ballymegille. It’s far too long since Caroline featured on Linda’s Book Bag. Last time she was here Caroline was celebrating her novel The Best Boomerville Hotel in this post. On other occasions Caroline provided her top ten writing tips here, when Coffee, Tea, the Caribbean and Me was published and allowed me to interview her here. Caroline also told me about writer’s block and I reviewed her novel Jungle Rock here.
Today, I’m delighted to share my review of Boomerville at Ballymegille.
Boomerville at Ballymegille
Boomerville is back!
Join Hattie and Jo as they head to Southern Ireland to open Boomerville Manor, a holiday retreat for guests of ‘a certain age’. There’s Irish craic and shenanigans aplenty for the colourful cast of characters as everyone gathers for the grand opening.
Meet Melissa, an ex-cabaret singer running from her abusive husband, and Bill, a bachelor bullied from beyond the grave by the ghostly voice of his mother. Along with local bobby Harry the Helmet, ageing aquatic team the Boomerville Babes, eccentric artist Lucinda Gray, and heartthrob Finbar Murphy, they gather in Ireland and the fun begins. But murder is in the air and there’s mischief afoot. Will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?
Set in the beautiful Irish countryside, Boomerville at Ballymegille is a heart-warming story of friendship, fears and new beginnings.
My Review of Boomerville at Ballymegille
Change is afoot for Jo and Hattie.
Not having read The Best Boomerville Hotel, I wasn’t sure how I’d pick up the threads in Boomerville at Ballymegille, but I needn’t have worried. Caroline James’ smooth writing style incorporated all the basic information I needed fully to appreciate the various back stories without slowing the pace of this narrative so that I was immediately completely engaged. However, reading Boomerville at Ballymegille has made me want to go back and read The Best Boomerville Hotel too!
The plot of Boomerville at Ballymegille is fast paced, unexpected and a real pleasure to be immersed into. There’s romance and passion, murder and mayhem, humour and sadness all perfectly balanced into a hugely entertaining and ultimately heart-warming read. I loved the two Boomerville settings too as Caroline James includes some lovely description that brings both the English and Irish places alive for the reader. It truly feels as if it would be possible to pick up the phone and book a stay.
There’s a rainbow of characters to love, to like, to despise and to admire within the pages. I thought Hattie was magnificent because of her no nonsense approach and her enjoyment of food. Every time she appeared in the story I found my emotions heightened. It was through Hattie that I felt empathy for all the others and she’s a real scene stealer when it comes to humour. It took me a while to warm to Bill, but my word he redeemed himself and in fact his story held some of the most affecting moments for me. I’m not usually keen on books that have multiple characters but in Boomerville at Ballymegille I felt every single one had earned their place in the story, was vivid and real, making me understand them fully.
One of the most glorious aspects of Caroline James’ Boomerville at Ballymegille is the fact the narrative isn’t populated only with 30 somethings. Here we have a cast of characters illustrating that life doesn’t end when we turn 40, that there is a world out there to discover and enjoy, that we have talents we can uncover and use, and that friendship and romance might be just round the corner. In placing her characters in the settings and situations she does, Caroline James somehow instils a sense of self-worth in the reader that I really appreciated.
About Caroline James
Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can.
A public speaker, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing to many publications. Caroline also runs writing workshops.
In her spare time, Caroline can be found walking up a mountain with her two Westie dogs, sipping raspberry gin or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.
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