Sunrise over Pebble Bay – Della Galton

As I sit down to read this book, I feel a wave of comfort coming over me. Not only a book by one of my favourite authors, but a book set in beautiful Dorset where I grew up. It never fails to make me happy, reading about places that sound so familiar.

From the very start of the book, I loved the author’s descriptive language. An example was in the very first chapter, when she was describing the smell of a cake. I swear that having read that, I felt as though I could smell cake and it was quite literally making my mouth water! Alas there was no cakeage to hand!

What an utter treat to twig that Olivia’s significant other, Phil, is THE Phil from Della Galton’s ’Shooting Stars Over Bluebell Cliff’. What a treat! I do so love coming across ’old friends’ from previous books and Della Galton has an amazing gift for seamlessly including them and their backstories. It’s a bit like wearing an old pair of boots for the first time in ages, and just knowing, from having worn them so often before, that your feet are going to be on clouds all day long. (Apologies to Della, for comparing your character to a pair of old boots, but it’s meant in the most positive way).

I feel comforted, knowing that Olivia is in Phil’s safe hands – or is she? I’d certainly like to think this is the case, but I was somehow getting the impression that he was hiding something from Olivia, for example he still hadn’t shown her his bedroom. I sincerely hope to be proven wrong, having become quite attached to Phil and Olivia, both as individuals, as well as as a couple. Could it possibly be something to do with his passion for acting? That he was actually being the man that he thought Olivia wanted him to be, as opposed to the man he actually was?

I loved the commonality threading through this series of books – of the feud/strange friendship between Mr B, the chef, and Phil. I know it’s childish, but each little prank raised a chuckle from this camp and it felt to me like a really nice, clever touch, to tie the books loosely together.

I did feel a little concerned though at the toy blue/pink elephant in the nursery throughout this book. I really liked Phil and Olivia as a couple and I so wanted them to have aligned future plans. Things didn’t seem to auger that well, in that Olivia didn’t want to bring the subject up with Phil, whilst Phil was seemingly oblivious of anything going on, even with the talk of Ruby, Olivia’s sister’s imminent baby.

I felt that the author dealt with the subjects of pregnancy and infertility in an intelligent, empathetic manner. it was clever, the way that the lives of Ruby and Olivia were seen to mirror the lives and experiences of their Mother and Aunt Dawn. Both Rub and the girls’ Mother had seemed to have no trouble conceiving, whereas Olivia worried that she was getting too old and it might never happen, and Dawn had been due to go and see a fertility expert when her Husband had died unexpectedly. This backstory mitred perfectly with the current story and I felt it would give Olivia the confidence to actually have a proper conversation with Phil about it. After all, she was just surmising that having a baby could potentially be an issue. As to the empathy of the writing – I thought that those in the same kind of situations might garner comfort from the written word. Ruby was feeling that she would get a huge amount of family support, whilst the Olivias out there would surely be comforted by the offer to play a huge part in a niece/nephew’s upbringing, in the way that Aunt Dawn had with Olivia and Ruby. Stuff the acting parts and auditions – it seemed to me that life is one big play and Olivia was being offered the part of her life (a part that I myself have coveted) – that of hands-on Aunt.

One big question remains though – could a blast from the past change everything? The said blast, alongside a current day confession, certainly presented Olivia with one heck of a moral and romantic dilemma. What exactly was he up to? Was he actually stalking Olivia? Would he set off a potentially lethal chain of events? An additional dilemma – facing the choice of an audition for a mainstream TV series, or supporting her Sister for the birth of her baby, what would Olivia choose? I am not going to spoil things for you though and you will have to read the book for yourself to find out what ultimately happens.

This was a throughly enjoyable book, simultaneously heartwarming yet heart-wrenching. Della Galton certainly has a gift for taking normal characters, like you and me, with normal families and the issues that go with them and every day problems, like parenthood and relationships; she then works her magic on their very being, to bring something truly magical to the reader. A novel that keeps you, the reader satisfied from beginning to end; a novel where you end up caring unconditionally about the characters and what happens to them; a story that feels so real, you almost sense that you have been absorbed into the story. A book that brings joy from the start, down to the very last word on the final page, such that whilst you do not want to put the book down, you equally do not want it to end. One can only hope that there are more chapters in the pipeline. My serious side has not had enough of the beautiful Dorset countryside, whilst my silly half simply can never get enough of schoolboy kitchen pranks. Whilst I can’t imagine such a feud being allowed to continue in an establishment such as the Bluebird Cliff Hotel, on paper they never fail to amuse me! I was clearly a schoolboy in another life!

To purchase this book for yourself, just use this link:


2 thoughts on “Sunrise over Pebble Bay – Della Galton

  1. Wow, I am blown away by your review. Thank you so, so much. And thank you so much for being part of my blog tour xxxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s