Myself, and my Nan are huge fans of Dorothy Koomson, so I was very excited when a copy of her latest book The Rose Petal Beach arrived in the post! Actually, I think my Nan was more excited than I was, she tore off the packaging and practically started reading it on the spot!
I must say firstly, the cover is STUNNING!!! I was very intrigued by it, and I absolutely loved how there was a story and background to The Rose Petal Beach. I love little tales and old stories and the story of The Rose Petal Beach was brilliant, it was fascinating and Dorothy Koomson cleverly tied it in to the book. I won't go into the tale as I don't want to ruin it, but it was a great addition, and one of my favourite bits of the book.
The story opens with a dramatic scene: All is well in the Challey household, the children are playing before bed, one in their pyjamas already, the other showing her father Scott Challey something she had learnt at school that day. Tamia Challey is happily watching them. Then comes a knock at the door: Police march in and arrest Scott, who seemingly already knows what he is being handcuffed for and quietly goes with them. Tamia is left with crying and frightened children, confused and unaware of what her husband has been arrested for, and even more puzzled that he knew more than what he was letting on.
What follows after is Tamia taking us back and forth between the past and the present, reliving important moments of her life which link up to what is happening in the present day. This was a fantastic idea of Dorothy's, and it kept me hooked to the pages. I was very interested in Tamia and Scott's background story, how they met, and what happened in their life leading up to that moment. As well as reading things from Tamia's perspective, we are also given chapters from Beatrix (or Bea, to all her friends), the Challey's neighbour and one of Tamia's best friends. This really works well as the reader gains extra information from a different set of eyes, and it's very intriguing to see things from her point of view.
Dorothy Koomson has created some complex and interesting characters, and it is fascinating to read about and watch their development throughout the story. I thought in particular Tamia and Scott were brilliantly written characters, they both seemed to jump from the pages into real life. I also really loved Mirabelle as a character, she really grew on me. The Rose Petal Beach has many surprises, twists and turns that definitely kept me constantly on the edge of my seat, wanting to know more.
I won't spoil it for all of you but this is a truly thrilling and gripping book. Throughout the story I kept repeating one word to myself: Wow. Dorothy has again excelled in her storytelling and I'm certain this one is going to be a big hit! I strongly urge you all to check it out!!! Fantastic.