It was wonderful to recieve another book from Sheila and Ebury Press since I have reviewed all of the books in both The Vet’s at Hope Green and The Pets at Primrose cottage series.
In The Petshop at Pennycombe Bay, Jess, a shy woman who is looking for a fresh start ofter she loses her job, ends up living in Pennycombe Bay with her cousin Ruth who is an alcoholic. Jess’s only companion in life is her dog Prudence (Pru for short).
Life gets complicated when she meets Nick who encourages her to join Pets As Therapy (PAT), a group where pets are taken to the local hospital to be used as therapy for the patients there. Nick’s dog Buddy and Prudence hit it off pretty quickly but will Nick and Jess do the same?
Pennycombe Bay is a gorgeous seaside setting and Sheila Norton has a true gift for making each setting in her books cosy and welcoming. The town is full of friendly locals- i loved Vera and jim. Vera is such a character! And Jim is so considerate.
Jess loves helping others and also ends up at the local school volunteering for Read2Dogs, her own idea where the children read their book to Prudence to aid their confidence and reading ability.
The primary-aged kids love Prudence and Jacob and his dad Tom soon capture Jess’s heart- but who is that woman with Tom? Can Jess trust him or Nick more? Should she, or is she better off living a quiet life with Prudence?
The Petshop at Pennycombe Bay is more than just a story about pets- it deals with mny issues- the lonliness of the elderly, alcoholism, trust and learning to live and love again.
I adored all of Sheila’s books but feel this one made more of an impression on me- the volunteering, the hospital, Jess’s shyness which I identified with as I was shy once and know how crippling and limiting it can be.
Pru is dorable and Jess’s “coping mechnism” of 2-way conversations with her bought even more depth to the already realistic characters of Jess and Pru and further strengthened their unbreakable bond.
Kevin and Dan had a good storyline too.
I want a sequel to this book!
The only letdown for me was that there were too many exclamation marks in Jess and Pru’s conversation, making it sound too forced and upbeat. I realise they were a good support for each other but this made the contrast to Jess’s other thoughts and feelings seem too drastic a change. It would read better without these exclamation marks.
Despite this, it is still a 5 star novel with a relaxing yet engrossing pace and I finished it in a few hours.
Thanks to Sheila Norton and Ebury Press for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
Book #1 for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon October 2019.