I’m delighted to be hosting the first stop on the blog tour for The Beach at Doonshean by Penny Feeny. To make it even more special, today is publication day of the e-book edition. You can find purchase links below.
Thanks to Vicky at Aria for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my review copy via NetGalley.
I hope you enjoy reading my review of The Beach at Doonshean. Do look out for reviews, book extracts and other content from the fabulous book bloggers also hosting stops on the tour.
About the Book
In Ireland, the past never dies…
Long ago, on a windswept Irish beach, a young father died saving the life of another man’s child.
Thirty years later, his widow, Julia, decides to return to this wild corner of Ireland to lay the past to rest. Her journey sparks others: her daughter Bel, an artist, joins her mother in Ireland, while son Matt and daughter-in-law Rachael, at home in Liverpool, embark on some soul-searching of their own.
As the threads of past and present intertwine, Julia’s family confront long-buried feelings of guilt, anger, fear and desire. Only then can they allow the crashing waves of the beach at Doonshean to bond them together once again.
Format: e-book (416 pp.) Publisher: Aria
Published: 15th August 2019 Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Find The Beach at Doonshean on Goodreads
If you’re looking for a book that explores the dynamics and challenges of family life and relationships as well as the lasting impact that past events can have on the lives of those involved, then you need look no further than The Beach at Doonshean. Furthermore if, like Julia, you believe that coincidence is much more common than you imagine, you certainly won’t be disappointed. And for good measure, there are lovely descriptions of the landscape and coastline of western Ireland.
‘At its lowest ebb, the full wild beauty of the strand was exposed: the glistening of seaweed at the shoreline, the grill of lacy foam, the scattering of shells. And all around her, the rocks rose like exotic hanging gardens, rich with jeweller clumps of sea thrift and mallow.’
The sections of the book focussing on Matt and Rachael as they settle into their new home in Liverpool could seem like a separate story, perhaps even a separate book. However, the author skilfully brings together the two storylines when events take a dramatic turn bringing echoes of the past.
What unites all the characters in the book is the fact they are adjusting to changes in their lives: Julia, facing retirement and looking for new purpose; Bel, returning from adventures abroad and needing to rebuild her health; Matt and Rachael, making a new home for their son, Danny, and pondering their future; brothers Kieran and Tom, returning home to Ireland, the latter with unexpected new responsibilities and unsure of the welcome he’ll receive.
The book ends on a positive note with the possibility of new beginnings, second chances as well as the prospect of fresh goals and challenges making The Beach at Doonshean an absorbing, acutely-observed family drama.
In three words: Heart-warming, emotional, absorbing
Try something similar: Tell Me Where You Are by Moira Forsyth (read my review here)
About the Author
Penny Feeny has lived and worked in Cambridge, London and Rome. Since settling in Liverpool many years ago she has been an arts administrator, editor, radio presenter, advice worker, and has brought up five children. Her short fiction has been widely published and broadcast and won several awards. Her first novel, That Summer in Ischia, was one of the summer of 2011’s bestselling titles.