I will shamelessly admit that I am a huge Mandy Baggot fan and was delighted to be invited to take part in the blog tour for her latest book Staying Out For the Summer. Mandy’s books have always been like having an amazing summer holiday vicariously, with her vivid characters and luxurious landscapes. And of course every time I picked the book up I had the wonderful 1994 track from Britpop favourites Dodgy going through my head! In 2021 after a whole year of restrictions who doesn’t need the prospect of a glorious break on a Greek island?
I’ll be honest that I was a little disconcerted that Mandy had chosen to set her book in “real time”, in a world starting to relax a little, post pandemic. I generally like my escapism to be gloriously covid free. There are only so many “next slide please” presentations that a girl can watch and after a year I think we are all desperately seeking a return to a little more normality. Mandy has explained her reasoning for this beautifully:
I chose to write about the pandemic because we have all been through it together. It has touched everyone. Yes, we might have had very different experiences of it, but we have all had to stay home and face limited lives and some of us have been ill with the virus or sadly lost people that we love to it.Mandy Baggot
The hero in Staying Out for the Summer – Michalis – is a Greek doctor who specialises in the lungs and my heroine – Lucie – is an NHS nurse who has been working tirelessly trying to save as many lives as she can.
This book and their stories is my tribute to the medical staff around the globe and all the keyworkers who have risked their lives doing all those things we take for granted to keep the world going. I know a lot of other writers have decided to avoid writing about Covid 19 in their books because they feel readers are looking to get away from all that.I understand that completely and, as I said straight off, my book is going to take you to Greece for all the fun in the sun and so much more. But, for me, I felt if I didn’t acknowledge that this has happened in our lives it would be like sweeping under the carpet all the sacrifices people have made over the past year.”
Lucie Burrows is an NHS nurse and in the summer of 2021 is more than ready for a sunshine break when best friend Gavin books them on an idyllic Greek holiday in Corfu. They both need some time to chill out and relax, eat some amazing food and sample the local wine. A landslide suddenly plunges their village into a local lockdown and Lucie finds herself helping the super sexy local Greek doctor. It wasn’t quite the holiday that she had planned but some things have a life of their own.
Whether or not we get to be able to travel ourselves this year this is the perfect way to remind ourselves of those fabulous overseas holidays and look forward to a world that can start to see sunshine finally beginning to dawn again.
Supplied by Net Galley and Aria in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date: Apr 1 2021. 367 pages. #StayingOutForTheSummer #NetGalley
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.