Book Review: Walking On Sunshine by Giovanna Fletcher

The previous book I’d read had been about an evil cult – and I decided I needed something as far away from that as possible! And what better than a book by the reigning ‘Queen of the Castle’ (at the time of reading / writing at least!) – Giovanna Fletcher. I’ve enjoyed her previous books – and so had accepted an ARC of this without reading the blurb, but here it is for you:

“In the darkness, we all need a little light . .
After Mike loses Pia, his partner of seventeen years, their best friends Vicky and Zaza try to help pick up the pieces.
But though Pia’s gone, she left a plan. A list of loving instructions to help Mike and her friends come to terms with their loss.
And they’re each going to need it . . .
Just-engaged Zaza fears committing any further.
Exhausted mother and wife Vicky has lost sight of herself.
While Mike just feels all the colour has gone from his life.
When the list sends them trekking to Peru, where high mountains and sweltering rainforests push them to the brink, all they have to guide them is their faith in Pia and in themselves.
But will they learn that anything is possible when you’re walking on sunshine?

Having thought it was going to be a light, frothy, easy read – I was a bit shocked that it started with the fact that a central figure had died and that the main crux of the storyline was how her husband and friends dealt with the aftermath of her death! Pia also shares the name of my niece – and it’s an unusual name, so not one you come across often – which makes it even more weird. But the book wasn’t all doom and gloom at all.

The chapters were written by the 3 main protagonists – so you were experiencing the story from 3 different viewpoints – which was great. I guess I empathised with Vicky the most – although the newborn days are long gone for me, thank goodness!

A large portion of the book takes place on a trek in Peru. I know Giovanna has been on such treks with the charity Coppafeel, so I’m assuming it was very true to life! It definitely evoked the feeling that you were on the trek with the friends. All of them gained something from the trip – which I guess is the point of doing such a thing.

At certain times I wanted to shout at the characters – and just tell them to talk to each other / their other halves – but I guess it was quite true to life that things can sometimes fester.

I loved the final chapter of the book that was a few years down the line. It tied up some loose ends – but not in a sickly sweet ‘everyone’s happy ever after’ kind of way.

Overall it was an easy, escapist read – and who doesn’t love one of those?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for a review.