Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Guestbook by Holly Martin

Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook!

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

My view:

I have just finished reading The Guestbook and I loved it. What a unique style of writing, each chapter written as an entry into Willow Cottages Guestbook. 

The book tells the story of Annie, who owns Willow Cottage and Olly, her brother in law. Also you hear about Sophia who is friends with as well as works with Annie. Whilst Annie is the main character you also get to know a number of guests who visit Willow Cottage. 

Holly's style of story telling is brilliant. It is warm and welcoming and helps you easily gain affection for all the characters. It is also very funny and had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. When you read about the graveyard scene you will know what I mean. 

I found it so enticing I finished the whole book within 24 hours and now miss the characters. I feel almost like I have been on a voyueristic mini break. I would love to go and stay at Willow Cottage right now!

A great feel book fun read with some really touching moments in it too. Don't miss out.


  1. Nice review, I like the look of this one from what you said about each chapter being written as a guestbook entry. I'll have to add this to my ever growing, never ending to read list!

    - Book Addict Shaun (

  2. Thanks Shaun. It really was a brilliant book, and far better than I thought it was going to be if I'm honest. You really must read it.

    Know what you mean about the ever growing to read list...scary and too much choice!

    Great review for Sharon btw, really want to read the book now