I’m a huge fan of Caroline James – both as an author and as a generous human being – so I’m very grateful to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Caroline’s latest book The Spa Break. Not only am I sharing my review today, but I have a wonderful giveaway for you too.
Caroline has featured often on Linda’s Book Bag. Previously Caroline was celebrating her novel The Best Boomerville Hotel in this post and I reviewed the book here. 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.
The Spa Break
The Spa Break – The laugh-out-loud romantic comedy of the year for fans of The Book Club with Jane Fonda & Judy Leigh!
A weekend at the spa will leave four old friends with a whole lot more than they’d bargained for…
The glossy brochure promised a serene experience of total tranquillity and rejuvenation, but what best friends Bridgette, Emily, Serena and Marjory get is a weekend that upends their lives!
There for a girls’ weekend to celebrate Bridgette’s impending seventieth birthday, the spa soon has these spicy sexagenarians realising that there are unexpected benefits to age and experience, and that over the hill certainly doesn’t mean out of the game…in any respect…
My Review of The Spa Break
Four friends are off for a birthday spa break.
The Spa Break is an absolute joy. It’s slightly mad, funny, uplifting and filled with warmth and friendship so that it’s impossible not to feel happier as a result of reading it.
I so enjoyed meeting Serena, Bridgette, Emily and Marjory. It’s absolutely wonderful to encounter women in their sixties with all their attendant anxieties, routines and habits amassed over the years so that they feel much more real and relatable than so many thirty somethings in books. As The Spa Break allows them to discover sexual, emotional, artistic and professional creativity, there’s a joie de vivre that makes the reader feel they can achieve what they want too. It’s as if Caroline James is giving her readers the chance to be reminded of who they are and who they might like to be every bit as much as the four ladies in the book. That’s not to say that everything runs smoothly, but the bumps along the way add authenticity and the immense pleasure in reading The Spa Break.
There’s a relatively simple plot set over a long weekend that is all the more realistic because all the action takes place in the hotel and its grounds, making the reader believe any of the events could, genuinely, have happened. I loved the concept that, whist supporting one another and celebrating Brigitte’s seventieth birthday, each of the ladies is able to be an individual, find what works for her and doesn’t need to be just another adjunct to the group. All the minor characters are equally memorable too so that The Spa Break feels natural and engaging.
But within the fun and frolics are weightier themes that make The Spa Break such a good read. Professional duplicity, fame, ambition, marriage, relationships, identity, the role of social media in the modern world, ageism, expectation, parenthood and so on make this a layered and maturely written narrative that gently teaches even as it entertains.
I so enjoyed reading The Spa Break. I’ve come to expect humour, humanity and entertainment from Caroline James. The Spa Break has them all with added sexiness so that it’s a cracking read. I loved this treat of a book because it made me feel happy.
Giveaway to Win a Fred the Westie soft toy and a personalised box of chocolates (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter by clicking here. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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 escapes whenever lockdown allows. A public speaker, which has included talks and lectures on cruise ships worldwide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. Caroline writes articles and runs writing workshops, is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer & Journalists and the Society of Authors. In her spare time, Caroline can be found walking with Fred, her Westie and in summer, wild water swimming. In winter, when not working, she relaxes with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.
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