Book Review – The Red Beach Hut by Lynn Mitchell

I was very excited to be asked to join the book blog tour for The Red Beach Hut – and apologies for putting this up so late in the day, but I’m not very well…

The story is incredibly simple, with few characters and only one main location and yet it is also extremely complex in the feelings it evokes. It is a serious book, looking at a tumultuous week or two in the life of Abbott, he’s a good man who once made a stupid mistake that haunts him. He is an exceedingly likeable character, as is Neville the wonderful young boy who befriends him. This is in stark contrast to those in the white beach hut who are ugly and unkind under their mask of ‘neighbourly concern’. This comparison of true caring behaviour is an excellent thread in the story.

There are moments of real joy as Abbott and Neville explore the beach together, but there are also moments of deep sadness as you learn why Neville is out alone every night. I admit to feeling conflicted about this book – it is beautifully crafted and you are carefully led through the story, but it didn’t answer all my questions and I felt a little unsatisfied at the ending. I suspect I wanted more closure as I have a son the same age and it undoubtedly affected my relationship with Neville.  Lynn Mitchell has written a beautiful book, without any real violence or gore, no obvious clichés and sensitively raised a number of internal ‘conversations’ for the reader to ponder long after they finish reading.

I liked it… I think…

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