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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 October 2003
I read this book in 2 days, not because it was short (it wasn't) but because I could not put it down. The characters were three-dimensional, and I really cared what happened to all of them. Moreover, Erica James dealt with the difficult subject of disability (deafness and dyslexia) in such a sensitive manner, creating a real empathy with the main characters, enabling us to see beyond a disability to the person within. Where some less talented authors would pigeonhole and create a character around a disability, she rises above this, and gives us a perspective that we take out into our everyday lives. She did much the same in 'A Sense of Belonging' when one of the characters, Josh, suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. I actually started donating to the MS Society after reading that book directly as a result of the insight she gave me into the condition.
But enough of that, as it isn't the main thrust of the book. The location is described in such a vivid manner that you feel you are reading the book there. The interplay of characters is very real, and varied, and you find that the pages keep turning because when it comes to a choice of carrying on reading or getting some sleep, NOT finding out what happens next is worse than the alarm ringing two hours after you dragged yourself away from the book. And I speak from experience.
I recommend this book to everyone who has read her other work, and to most people who haven't.
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on 8 June 2007
Yes, a soppy romance, which maybe at my age I should have grown out of? No I still sometimes like to read a novel that I do not have to think about at all, but just relax and enjoy.

This is another book that hops from one time to another. I seem to have read a few using this technique recently, so supposedly the authors feel it is a good way of filling us in.

This is a pleasant summer read, all the action takes place in the traditional seaside resort of Angel Sands. in the present Genevieve(early 30's)is running her parents B and B 'Paradise House' and the flash backs are to her teen years and 'first love'. Of course things went wrong then and by coincidence the 'first love' walks back into her life.

Soppy yes but still worth reading if it is the sort of book that normally appeals to you.
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on 6 March 2004
I recently read this book while on vacation, and it was the perfect way to relax! The story was compeling and the characters funny and believable! I especially loved the way Ms. James moved back and forth from past to present, to help us understand the characters connections! I have read just about every book by this author, and am NEVER disappointed! Can't wait for the next! Well done Ms. James!
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on 4 January 2004
Im not very good at reviewing books I can never seem to convey how I feel in a proper way but here goes... I have read all of Erica James's previous books and I love her work and this book is no exception. I loved every word, it made me laugh and cry. I truly did not want this book to end, it keeps you guessing until the end. I recommended this book to everyone!
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on 26 November 2014
I absolutely love this author, I read her books one after the other and none of them have been a disappointment. There is always a great guy in them, something Italian or set near to water. Sorry I am not a clever writer but Erica James is and if you want the feel good factor read her books. This one is just lovely, I won't say anymore, if you like to escape into something nice then this book is for you.
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on 2 August 2005
'Paradise House' is a story about English village life, this book goes through the emotions of humour and sadness and also chucks in a bit of romance, this book draws you into the lives of the characters and shows the humour of a typical dysfunctional family. 'Paradise House' is very entertaining to read with a realistic insight into love's disappointments and triumphs. Well worth a read for people of any age who enjoy a good romance novel with humour.
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on 15 August 2012
I really enjoyed this novel and read it very quickly. Basically story of Genevieve who falls for Christian, her first love, when she is a teenager but he breaks her heart by betraying her with her best friend. Years later, she is reunited with him when he arrives in Angel Sands, her home town, to renovate a barn. Do you ever get over your first love? The book primarily centres on this but also has subplots involving Genevieve's family; namely her 2 sisters and parents. This is a book about love and what it means to be loved. It is about how families can sometimes be pulled apart from circumstances and the pressures of family life but how they are there for each other in the difficult times.

This was a light, feelgood read and the writing flowed well. I would recommend this as a holiday read or just for pure escapism.
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on 13 November 2014
For me, Erica is a fantastic story teller and you cant help but connect with each character she creates...HOWEVER, this is NOT one of her best by a long shot. Somehow she missed the connection to Mother who ran to the other side of the world, and you didn't re-connect with her when she came back, but the relationship between the grandma and the family was pure joy... they cant all be to everyone's taste, but, for me. she has had better days...
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on 18 March 2016
The cover and the title both evoke images of relaxed, long, summer holidays spent with family near to the sea.

Paradise House is a seaside, B & B on the Pembrokeshire coast, it's here we meet three sisters - Genevieve, Nattie and Polly and a whole host of supporting characters from old friends, family, neighbours and even a couple of donkeys whose lives are interwoven with their own. Geneva is the constant in their lives, helping their father run the B & B whilst their mother 'finds' herself in New Zealand. A very hands on sister and aunt, never being able to say no she takes on the bulk of responsibility in all their lives - something she does willingly, it's much easier concentrating on other peoples lives than it is your own!

Erica James explores family and friendship dynamics as she slips between the present and the summers of their childhood - this really worked for me, her descriptive skills are just amazing I really felt like a fly on the wall, living in their lives with them. The insight into their childhood gives a clear understanding of the adults they had become. Erica has created characters that feel real, the three sisters are bound by blood but are each different, each has very different characteristics. One almost too thoughtful, putting everyone and everything before herself and her own life, another the complete opposite, living her life with little or no regard for anyone else and the third somewhere in-between.

A truly captivating story that compelled me to read at every opportunity. A story of family, friendship, love, trust and hope - a story that I found captivating. It was at times sad, at others uplifting - in case you hadn't guessed I loved it from the very first chapter. I cared what happened to each of the three girls and willed events on quietly from the sidelines. It's a book that made me think and if I take one thing from it, it's that anything is possible given a bit of courage and support of family and friends.
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on 9 September 2013
This is a great story with lots of characters all different but all very interesting. This is a love story but also a family story, Jenny Agutter is the best person to read Erica James books. She has great voices and expressions I've found her the best reader from others some people can be boring she isn't . If you love Erica James books then you will love this one. I would recommend, couldn't stop listening to it.
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