If only we all had a fearless team of feisty old biddies to cheer us on and to have our best interests at heart, then I think we’d all be doing just fine! Lucky for Tessa Archer, she’s ‘adopted’ by the elderly Winnie while on a weekend away in Cornwall, but that’s only the start …
Tessa is 30 years old. She’s not exactly what you’d call one of life’s trailblazers, well certainly not if you ask any of her immediate family members! They don’t really rate her at all, other than to criticise or ridicule her, and that includes her mom (whose face I could happily have smashed with a brick or two). She does enjoy her job, which she’s actually really good at, and it doesn’t even entail leaving home as she works online so manages to avoid daily interaction with people who she knows won’t want to have much to do with her anyway. You see … Tessa is a bit on the large side. She’s not acceptably, fashionably chunky. She’s just lumpy and bumpy and after years of nasty comments from her nearest and ‘dearest’, she assumes that she’s as unattractive as they tell her she is.
But then, one Sunday at yet another tedious family lunch where she’s being ignored and taken for granted, as usual, Tessa realises that she’s had enough of being treated like a ‘thing’. And she tells her family a huge lie. She says that she’s going away for the weekend so that she can avoid a family commitment. And she decides to actually do it! Before she can change her mind she quickly books accommodation in St. Ives in Cornwall, and her boss is shocked when she books a couple of days off work – he can’t remember her ever doing that!
And then she’s in her car, driving down the highway, heading for the seaside … on her own! She can hardly believe it. Shock and horror soon set in. What on earth has she done? What was she thinking? But as soon as she arrives in the pretty seaside village, she starts to relax. She realises that for the first time since she can remember, she is as free as a bird. She doesn’t need to answer her ringing phone when her siblings call her – because what could they possibly want from her anyway? She doesn’t actually need to answer to anyone right now and can do whatever she wants to – and that’s exactly what she does! And it’s while she’s sitting on a bench, looking out to see, enjoying the view and her freedom that she meets the indomitable Winnie. Before she knows it, Tessa is helping Winnie with her chores, having tea in her gorgeous house (and making it too!), and walking up and down the hill to get to and from it too! But Winnie comes with baggage: three other hilarious old ladies, and a gorgeous grandson called Ben!
All too soon, Tessa’s time in St. Ives is just about over, but Winnie has other plans, and a few tricks up her sleeve. She’s recognised all the positive traits in Tessa that nobody else ever has – the ones that have been there all along, hidden deep down, waiting to be given the chance to emerge if given the right opportunity. And Winnie is determined to do just that. Within a short space of time, Tessa doesn’t recognise her life and barely recognises herself! She is finally living the life that she always thought would only be available to others. But will she have to give it all up? Will she need to accept that she could only have a small taste of the good life before it’s whisked away from her?
Victoria Johns has created fabulous, memorable characters and some absolutely hilarious lines in this story. Some of the situations Tessa finds herself in are hysterical and I did feel good laughing out loud and thinking, ‘thank goodness that’s not me!’ Her members of the Coastal Cahoots Club are wonderful. Each unique and just how I imagine my friends and I would want to grow old together. The depiction of life in this close-knit picturesque village made me crave a visit to somewhere similar.
This is such a fun, 5-star read. It’s a reminder that we shouldn’t let others define us and that we need to discover who we are and love ourselves with all our flaws, and everyone else be damned! Thank you to Random Things Blog Tours for this rollicking, enjoyable journey! Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about Coastal Cahoots Club …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Victoria Johns is a writer who enjoys sharing a happily ever after and believes that it’s every good girls dream to experience a steamy, hot one.
Growing up in North West England in a large family surrounded by love and support she found her Prince Charming many years ago and enjoys living the life they’ve made with their son. Being a mum, wife and in full time employment means multi tasking like a super power!
When she’s not writing she’s overdosing on crisps, Rosé wine, trashy TV and raunchy reads.