The Summer Seaside Kitchen series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. The small island of Mure is anything but dull, and the people of the island, both generational residents and new, make the community a very interesting one.
The book continues its primary focus on Flora as she navigates her new-found love for her old home, but with new troubles brewing. Her former boss and current boyfriend, Joel, is away on business, and this starts a downward spiral for them. He refuses to open up to her, and she constantly wonders if she's really enough for the hot-shot city lawyer.
But I was also introduced to two new storylines. Coltan, Flora's brother's boyfriend, has a secret - and it's an awful one. He drags Joel into it, and it's such a big secret that Joel can't really handle it all. This mystery hovers over the story like a fog bank. It's there, but most people don't realize how thick it is. It plays out throughout the story, and when it's all revealed, there's a lot to take in. Jenny Colgan handles it all beautifully, showing that her characters have a depth and feeling that really brings them to life.
I was also introduced to Saif, the refugee that has found somewhat of a home as the island's doctor. His story is another sad one, having been separated from his wife and two children in the war. He walks the beach just waiting for that miraculous moment when a boat shows up to reunite them. But after waiting for so long, he's having a hard time hanging on to the hope.
Not all of these intricate storylines are entirely wrapped up at the end of the book. But they do seem to reach a natural position of concluded for now, but with more to tell. As I get to know more of the island's residents, I fall in love all over again.