Review Stop: The Guestbook by Holly Martin

 

Welcome to my stop for The Guestbook blog tour! I hope you’re enjoying the tour so far and I’m really excited to be sharing my review of the book with you today, enjoy!

9781472090966_Cover (1)What it’s about:

Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook.

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider – whatever her colourful array of guests require.  A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself – especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

Forget sending postcards saying ‘wish you were here’ – one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.

You can purchase The Guestbook here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00HVD8VX2?ie=UTF8&at=aw-iphone-pc-uk-21&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links

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Review:

Wow! What can I say about this book that will do it justice? I read this book as a part of The Gosling Girl’s first blog tour, which I should add, has been a huge success. The girls have worked really hard to get everything together and as the tour is well underway by now, I really hope you’re enjoying all the reviews and special posts that have been lined up! I was lucky enough to be given a review stop so already I was super excited because I’d heard how amazing this book was from Victoria and Megan who had already read it and they weren’t wrong! The Guestbook is a fun and heart-warming story about Annie Butterworth, who owns Willow Cottage, a little seaside guest house that takes in a wide variety of patrons. From the young and in love to the down-right weird. But all the guests leave little snapshots of their lives in the guest book – as does Annie. Oliver Black, number one crime writer, is also a regular guest at Willow Cottage as he is the brother of Annie’s dead husband and her best friend who helped her through the toughest time in her life. Annie and Oliver have their own story to tell and with the help of Annie’s infamous guestbook, secrets get revealed and truths begin to surface and the lives of Annie, Oliver and all the guests are written down – quite literally – for everyone to see.

This was honestly, 100% one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read – I devoured it in 2 sittings! Holly’s writing style is so easy and fluent it gets hard to stop, and before you know it you’ve read 200 pages and completely forgot about dinner. I also thought this book was incredibly funny. It has very witty and on-point humour right from the start and most of it is just naturally funny without even meaning to be. The whole book is written in guest book entries from Annie and each of the patrons. I really wasn’t expecting that at first and although it’s a very unusual and different way to tell a story it worked so well and Holly makes sure you get a sense of all the characters personalities and stories just from the different ways in which they write. Bringing out each characters traits just from a diary entry is extremely talented. The main story which was about Annie, Oliver and their past and relationship was very well told through Annie, Oliver, and various other patrons thoughts, words and general ramblings in the guest-book and in unravels really nicely throughout the book. The entire story very indirectly reveals itself right before your eyes and before you know it, you have the whole picture right there in front of you without even realising it had happened.

There was a very diverse and interesting mix of characters all of whom were wonderful and resembled quite ordinary guests you’d probably find in a guest house – including the infuriating Mrs Applecroft who constantly moaned about everything! We all know one of those don’t we? The newly weds, Rosie and Jake Hamilton were so sweet and the creepy Verity Forbes. There was such a diverse mix of people from children to pensioners, couples, families, a group of girls on a hen night and even a crazy animal lady – who was my personal favourite. Every few pages it’s something new and different and once one guest left I couldn’t wait to see who Holly was going to introduce us to next. Annie Butterworth, our main girl and guest house owner is so loveable and adorable, she makes you wish Willow Cottage was real! I know in real life it’s unlikely you’d ever get a guest book in which people spill the entire contents of their lives out on to but this book definitely has a sense of ‘you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors’. I also loved that this book was set on familiar grounds as the Norfolk Broads and Great-Yarmouth are mentioned in it. I’m only a few hours away from Great-Yarmouth and I know what a lovely place it can be, so it really helped me get a good picture of Willow Cottage and the surrounding areas in my head.

This book really is one of a kind, readable, relatable, unique and everything a book should be. It a perfectly well-rounded story and the ending made me squeal in happiness. There’s not a single thing I can criticise as Holly got every aspect spot-on. For the entire duration of time I was reading this book I literally didn’t want to do anything else and I could have read about the lives of Annie, Oliver and the weird and wonderful guests of Willow Cottage forever.

Click HERE to see the lovely little video made especially for the tour!

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Because The Gosling Girls are amazing and they personalize each tour to fit the tone of the book, for The Guestbook they’ve created their very own online guest book which anyone and everyone can write in. Please take the time to leave a comment, as if you have stayed yourself, be funny, serious, maybe be on honeymoon, or staff bonding weekend, or you could be a jilted lover, be whatever you want to be. Meet new friends, be nosey or tell us what you thought of the experience, the book or the tour.

http://theguestbookhollymartin.wordpress.com/

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