Sunday, August 27, 2023

Snow Angels at Golden Sands Bay, by Georgina Troy

Boldwood Books, ISBN 9781804260951, August 2023

Portia and her boyfriend Charlie are living in London, where Portia has a thriving events management career. Charlie is managing a restaurant, instead of the hotel he managed on Jersey, where they met.

The two are happy together, but Charlie is not happy away from his beloved Jersey.

When Charlie inherits his great-aunt's magnificent, but now in need of significant repair, chateau on Jersey, Portia encourages him to renovate it and open his own hotel. He's got the skills and experience to do a lot of the work himself, and Portia sells her London flat, which they have been living in, to pay for the work. It will put them, she feels, on equal footing in a new home which is theirs, rather than hers.

What can go wrong in renovating a magnificent but decayed old house, with the deadline of being ready to open for guests by spring? A lot! 

No working heat. All the windows need to be replaced--and there's damage to the roof, that leads to collapsing ceilings in some rooms, some of them after they've been renovated. There are two kitchens--a big one that needs to be completely renovated before they can have paying guests, but also a smaller, modern one. That one lets them take in one paying tenant immediately, Remi the French baker.

So much goes well, and so much goes wrong. And while Charlie knew what he was getting into with doing the renovations mostly on their own and with the help of friends in the community, Portia didn't. She didn't realize how hard, and how relentless, the work would be. She wasn't prepared for the extra-cold Jersey winter they got, with no working heat until later in the winter.

While Charlie wasn't happy in London, Portia and Charlie both begin to fear that she's not cut out for life away from London.

We get their stories and viewpoints in alternating chapters, and we meet the friends and neighbors along the Jersey boardwalk which the chateau is up the hill from, who make them both want to make it work. Will they succeed? Can Portia give up London, and her friends and career there?

It's a wonderful, heartwarming story with likable, believable characters, and Jersey has the good kind of small town feel.

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley and Rachel's Random Resources.

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