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The latest book from our Relax and Read Book Club

Jenny Colgan author - Read and Relax book club’s Relax and Read Book Club gives you the chance to discover new books, learn about the authors, share your opinions and really escape into an inspiring world of literature. Each month we select five customers from a self-nominated pool, to read and review a newly released or soon-to-be released book, spanning all genres. You then have six weeks to read the book before writing reviews that are published here on the Hot Tub blog, and shared with club members via a dedicated newsletter. 

“An absolute cracker of a romcom”

-Woman & Home

This month’s book: The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Escape to the Scottish Highlands where a tiny bookshop perches on the edge of a loch. 

Single mum, Zoe, is struggling. Trying to cope by herself in London. Hari, her gorgeous little boy is perfect in every way - except for the fact that he just doesn’t speak, at all. When her landlord raises the rent on her flat, Zoe doesn’t know where to turn. Then Hari’s aunt suggests Zoe could move to Scotland to help run a bookshop. 

Going from the lonely city to a small village in the Highlands could be the change Zoe and Hari desperately need. Faced with an unwelcoming boss, a moody, distant bookseller named Ramsay Urquart, and a band of unruly children, Zoe wonders if she’s made the right decision. However, Hari has found his very first real friend, and no one could resist the beauty of the loch glinting in the summer sun. If only Ramsay would just be a little more approachable…

The Bookshop on the Shore is author Jenny Colgan’s latest book, and April’s Relax and Read Book Club recommendation, read, reviewed and approved by our book club members.

“Summer wouldn’t be summer without a new Jenny Colgan”

– Reader’s Digest

Jenny Colgan author - Read and Relax book club

About the author

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels for adults, including Meet Me at the Cupcake Café and Little Beach Street Bakery. When Neil the puffin from Little Beach Street Bakery caught her readers’ attention, Jenny knew she needed a story of his own - and so the idea for Polly and the Puffin was born. Jenny is married with three children and lives in Scotland.

“Rippling through the pages - like the gently lapping waves of the loch itself - is the peace, calm and wholesomeness of the Highlands”

– The Sunday Post

What this month’s book reviewers said

“I read a Jenny Colgan book many years ago and not quite sure why I haven’t read more of her work?!  So when I was lucky enough to  be sent the book to review I really looked forward to reading it, I loved the title! It would be my dream to run a book shop! Zoe, the main character in the story, needs a break in life. She is a single mum to Hari who has a variation of locked in syndrome, his father and her ex-boyfriend Jaz is unreliable, but Hari loves him.Living in a dreadful flat in London, Zoe can hardly make ends meet until she gets an offer she can’t refuse from Hari’s aunt, running a mobile book shop in Scotland whilst her friend Nina is on maternity leave.  Part of the offer includes accommodation in a large house, where Ramsay and his three children live.  Their mother is not around and locals suggest she’s disappeared. Zoe and Hari start their new lives but not without its challenges. The three children do not want someone overseeing them and they make life difficult for Zoe, but little by little they soften towards her and her to them.  Each of the children have their own issues and trusting someone new, again, as they have already had six previous people in their home, takes its time. Equally where Ramsay their father is concerned, but Zoe begins to get through to him with their shared love of books.  This is a lovely read which will pull on your heart strings but at the same time make you smile. A special mention has to be for Scotland as it is portrayed beautifully in this book. You can tell the author lives there!  From the haar on the loch to the beautiful autumnal sunshine, it has made me want to take my next UK holiday up in the highlands.  I loved this book and the characters in it and was really sad to finish it and leave them behind.  That has to be a good recommendation!

– Colette, Hull 

“Chick lit is not my favourite genre but I do like a well written story and The Bookshop On The Shore is just that, a really well written story. Zoe is a struggling single mum with a four year old son, Hari, who, as yet has shown no inclination to want to talk. They are living in a miserable, damp bedsit in Wembley and Hari’s father, Jaz (a DJ) breezes in and out of his son’s life offering no financial or emotional support. Jaz has not even told his family about his son but, when Zoe faces eviction, he confides in his sister and she offers help in the form of a job in Scotland. In fact, she offers two jobs, a live in nanny position and a part time job helping out with a mobile book shop that tours around the shores of Loch Ness.  Zoe and Hari leave London and are immediately thrown into a totally different environment. She finds herself caring for three children who are motherless and whose father is distant and remote. She also has to learn very quickly how to manage the mobile book shop when Nina, the pregnant owner has to stop working totally. This is the story about a young woman facing new challenges and how she eventually learns to love her new life. An excellent read!”

– Anne, London


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