The Little Theatre by the Sea

The Little Theatre by the Sea – Rosanna Ley

I love a good book. I love books that have the power to transport you to a different time and place and most of all I love books that you genuinely feel sad about finishing because of how captivating they are.

These are all feelings I had when reading Rosanna Ley’s The Little Theatre by the Sea. The story is marketed as ‘the perfect holiday companion’ and the scenery described definitely explains why.

The story begins in England. Grey, dreary England. But then it moves to the fictional town of Deriu in Sardinia, which is a seemingly very idealistic place to live but – as the story goes on the reader is shown the harsh realities of living in a small town.

The Little Theatre by the Sea follows Faye who is a 30-something graduate and is given a break by her friend living in Sardania, who offers her services to restore the town’s theatre. However, the story follows the underlying issues of her parent’s separation, her own love life and a mystery that has haunted the town for decades.

I love that this book has so many themes within it from suspense to romance to exploring pain and loss. Having read a few of Rosanna Ley’s books I can say that her stories stay with me a long time I finish them, so much so I am always drawn to go back and reread them time and time again.

This page-turner is a read I recommend to everyone, no matter what your favourite genre is!

Under a Sardinian Sky – Sara Alexander

Every book I’ve read for the past month has, in some part, been centred around Italy. The language used has made feel as though I am able to smell, taste, hear and see the scenes that the characters from the books are experiencing– which is the beauty of a good novel.

Under a Sardinian Sky begins in present day England and follows Mina as she tries to discover what happened to her aunt Carmela years ago in a small Sardinian village.

If I’m honest, I found chapter one painful to read, there were too many descriptions and too many characters which confused me and I was thinking of giving up on the book altogether – but I’m glad I didn’t.

As the story progresses, Alexander’s use of metaphors and similes calms down a little and the reader is drawn into a story of love and deciding whether to rule with your head or your heart.

I felt so drawn into the story that I’m already planning my summer 2018 holiday to Italy because of the beauty and simplicity written about has compelled me to discover the country for myself.

The Hourglass – Tracy Rees

It’s been a while since I read anything that wasn’t to do with law, government or shorthand so I was so happy to stumble upon this book one day.

The Hourglass follows Nora as she goes through a difficult period in life from breaking up with her boyfriend to quitting her job and switches to the narrative of young Chloe spending her summers in Tenby.

The split between Chloe and Nora is set in London/Tenby, Wales and it is truly one of the best books I have read in such a long time.

Halfway through the book you’ll figure out the crux of the story, but that didn’t make me want to stop reading – if anything I was drawn further in and didn’t want it to end.

When Chloe is in Tenby with her best friend Llew, the way that Rees writes about childhood naivety and innocence made me so happy. The way the pair is so content to spend days having a simple picnic or looking for coins was so perfectly written. It made me want to go to the beach and do all the things they did but without the outlook of a 20-something year old.

Nora’s story was more relatable, as she is older and going through things in life that many people do. But her decision to go to Tenby changes her life and while the story ended well I wanted more. I want to know what happens next – I guess that is the beauty of a good book.

I recommend this to anyone looking for the perfect summer read or just a bit of escapism! One of my top 5 of 2017 so far…

 

Chanel Le Vernis

Nail Polish – 508 Shantung

Not many things can make me as happy as the feeling of leaving Chanel with the iconic white bag full of stuff I just can’t wait to use! This is one review of many of my Chanel nail polishes but as it’s the one I’m using now on my hands and feet it deserves a review first.

The colour is a reddish-pink that looks different in different lights (which is why my pictures may both look different) and is buildable with layers. I applied a Dior clear gel underneath – which I can’t for the life of me remember the name of – and two layers of 508 followed by Barry M’s clear top coat.

As with most high end nail polishes I’ve found that they’re watered down and not as thick as the likes of Barry M’s. This nail polish dries pretty quickly but I’ve found that applying a little bit too much of can cause major smudging so beware of that!

I applied this two days ago and already have one major chip on one finger, this may be down to washing my hair and vigorously massaging shampoo into it, however this doesn’t really justify why such a high end nail product chips within a few days!

Chanel Le Vernis retails for £20 and is has all the look and feel of a luxury item but beware of major chipping!

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Lipstick: Urban Decay – Revolution 69

Lipstick is something which I will always have an obsession with, however having rather light skin (which never tans) I always settle for brighter colours which can alter my whole complexion.

Recently I decided to get onto the ‘Urban Decay hype’ and invested in their amazing Naked 2 Palette but it was their lipstick which caught my attention even more. The Revolution line has a wide range of colours from the deepest darkest purples to the signature ‘naked’ look. For myself I tested out a few colours and finally settled for ’69’ and so far I love it! Being a brighter colour it’s one I wear when I have minimal or no eye make up as I found that too much on the eyes clashes with bright lipstick especially in the daytime resulting in an over the top look.

 

The Far Pavillions – M.M. Kaye

As a recent graduate of English Literature reading is my number one passion, whether it’s a lengthy novel or a short poem – you name it I’ve read it. When I was doing research into my final year dissertation I came upon the genre of ‘historical romances’. My definition of a historical romance is a tale of love set in the past and M.M Kaye’s The Far Pavilions definitely fits into this category.

The author takes her readers through time and space back to India in the late 1850’s and then the bildungsroman follows the protagonist Ash as he battles many trials and tribulations in his colourful and exciting life. Ash’s life is never full of dull moments, from chases through India to a rather interesting life in Victorian England Kaye has produced a book for many generations to cherish and enjoy. Perhaps the most enthralling part of the novel is not the love story between Ash and Juli nor the war between India and the British Raj but the lengths Ash goes too to survive in a country where he knows he is not welcome. Although he is able to disguise himself as an Indian and even learn to speak many of India’s dialects he will always be an outsider and perhaps this is what makes Ash’s story stay with you many months after reading it. Kaye’s ability to make you laugh, cry and fall in love with these fictional characters is what makes the 900-odd page novel one which has and will stand the test of time.