Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan

For the past few years, Jenny Colgan has been one of my “go to” authors.  I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read that she’s written.  I love her charming characters, and settings.  I love that her main heroines are usually women who have lost their way and find meaning in life through starting their own business which usually involves baking delicious treats. Along the way, they will find love.

The Endless Beach is a sequel to last summer’s The Café by the Sea.  I fell in love with the characters from The Café by the Sea and I loved being able to immerse myself in their world again.  I’m happy to see that I will be able to keep reading about them as well with a new Christmas book from Colgan continuing the story later this year.  The Café by the Sea and The Endless Beach are set on the fictional beautiful Scottish Island of Mure.

Flora MacKenzie is struggling to keep her Café by the Sea afloat.  While she makes delicious food, her prices are too low to keep things going and everyone seems to think she’ll cater their events for free or reduced prices as she knows or is related to everyone on the island of Mure. To make matters worse, her old boss and now boyfriend Joel, has become ever more distant and is always away on business.  Are they still together and if so, can their relationship go beyond the bedroom?

Flora’s brother Fintan is still in love with American billionaire, Colton Rogers.  When they become engaged, they start planning the island of Mure’s first gay wedding.  Will the island and Fintan’s father be accepting of Fintan and Colton’s marriage?

Saif is a doctor and a Syrian refuge who is working on Mure to earn his citizenship.  He left behind his two sons and his wife and he has been waiting for word of their survival for a year.  Will they be reunited?  He becomes close to Flora’s best friend Lorna, who oversees the schools.  They both start feeling an attraction to each other, but Saif is a married man.  Will Saif find his family again?

I like that Colgan had a note at the beginning to catch you up on characters and who they are.   It would be very helpful if you hadn’t read The Café by the Sea, but it’s also helpful when it’s been a year since you’ve read The Café by the Sea.

I love that Colgan’s novels have main characters, but they also have a village of other wonderful characters.  I found myself so immersed in their world that I couldn’t put the book down for the last third and was up too late Monday night finishing it up.  I had the same experience with The Café by the Sea.  I really loved the addition of Saif’s story.  It’s timely with what has taken place in the world and it was gripping.  Also gripping was Fintan and Colton’s love story.  I realized I don’t think I have read a book yet with a gay wedding in it, although I have several friends that are same sex married couples.   The wedding and relationship may have been a bit idealized, but I enjoyed it.  I felt this was another way that Colgan brought the real world and current events into this novel.

I also always enjoy the recipes that Colgan includes at the end of her novels . . .although the British measuring units have scared me from attempting to cook any of the delicious sounding baked goods.

My ponderings this week are how to classify a novel.  I picked this as being women’s fiction, chick lit, and a romance.  These are all three separate genres.  How would you classify this novel?

Overall, The Endless Beach was a very enjoyable novel that kept me up too late in the night with realistic well-rounded characters.  I want to visit Mure!

Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow.  Thank-you!


  1. Laura, this sounds like another wonderful "beach read". I enjoyed your review, and am glad that you enjoyed this sequel. I prefer recipes with measurements that I can easily understand. Terrific review!

  2. Colgan's books always make me smile! :)

  3. That is a great description - they always make me smile as well. I need to pick one for my book club soon. They said we read too many sad books!