Book Review: The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

“Have you ever imagined running away from your life?
Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.
The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems…
Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?
And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)”

The book starts with best friend’s Birdy and Heather in London. Heather is supposed to be working a summer season at a hotel in Scotland – but instead wants to jet off with her current ‘this is it, real love for definite this time’ boyfriend to Italy and ditch the sommelier job. Birdy is supposed to be calling the hotel to tell them Heather can’t go – but instead, decides to go and do the job herself – but doesn’t admit to Heather that this is what she’s doing.

The hotel in Scotland isn’t the run down property that Heather and Birdy were expecting – instead it’s been massively done up and is a beautiful ‘place to be seen’. I have to say that the setting and the Scottish countryside is so well described it made me want to visit immediately. To go and stay in a beautiful hotel, on the banks of a loch, with amazing food and wine flights – bliss………

Birdy is clearly totally out of her depth as ‘Heather’ as soon as she arrives – but she works super hard to get up to speed on the wines – and the team at the hotel become really important to her. Her loyalty to her new friends – and to Heather – is what keeps her going and working so hard.

Whilst the book is generally a fun, light hearted read – with some real laugh out loud moments – it does also cover some heavier topics – alcoholism, being the child of an alcoholic, gaslighting by parents and partners, bullying, friendship – but all as part of the over riding storyline.

Most of the characters were lovely – if slightly flawed in some way. The only one I couldn’t stand was Tim, Birdy’s on / off boyfriend. He was an utter knob – and she could do so much better.

The ending surprised me, and it’s more convoluted that you had expected throughout the book – but I still liked it.

Overall a really lovely read. It’s out in just a few days time – so I’m not tempting you too far in advance!

Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for my ARC.