It’s hard to put into words what I thought of Cassandra Parkin’s The Beach Hut. It isn’t because it was a particularly bad book or a particularly good book. It’s just… a strangely interesting book. And I can’t quite figure out what made it so good.
It’s hard to figure out who the Main Character(s) are. The story starts out focusing on siblings Ava and Finn, years ago. And then it switches to father and daughter Donald and Alicia, present day. Ava and Finn appear quickly in Donald and Alicia’s world, with sporadic flashbacks to things they experienced Before. The confusing part there is that they Ava and Finn also spend a lot of time simply discussing what happened years ago while they live in the present. Donald and Alicia, on the other hand, both seem afraid to look back to when their wife/mother died. They tiptoe around each other, as teenage daughters and single fathers do, and their relationship, as it eventually is revealed, is really built on a shake web of lies and half-truths. Alicia is drawn to the free-spirited, and yet just as secretive as her father, Ava and Finn because her father forbids her to know them. And in his quest to know his daughter better, to know the secrets she keeps, he gets to know Ava and he falls in love, possibly just lust but he confuses it for love, with her.
Ava’s secrets are the deepest and the most heartbreaking. It is Ava who ensured her little brother’s survival. It is Ava who teaches Alicia to be free. It is Ava who teaches Donald to start to let his daughter go.
Finn is the most interesting character in the story, and the stories he makes up are so good that Parkin should write them as standalone books. Ava is the most relatable. Alicia and Donald… I understand their roles in the story but I wanted a story just about Ava and Finn, to be completely honest.
I received a copy of The Beach Hut through NetGalley and Legend Press in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.