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The Beach Café

Narrated by: Jane Collingwood
Series: The Beach Café, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (636 ratings)

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Summary

Evie Flynn has always been the black sheep of her family – a dreamer, unlike her over-achieving elder sisters. She's tried making a name for herself as an actress, a photographer and a singer, but nothing has ever worked out. Now she's stuck in temp hell, with a pension-planning boyfriend. Somehow life seems to be passing her by. Then her beloved aunt Jo dies suddenly in a car crash, leaving Evie an unusual legacy – her precious beach cafe in Cornwall. Determined to make a success of something, Evie heads off to Cornwall to get the cafe and her life back on track - and gets more than she bargained for, both in work and in love....

©2011 Lucy Diamond (P)2012 Isis Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about The Beach Café

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

this is a lovely story

it was charmingly written and you get to know the characters really well. I really enjoyed it it's a light read

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Beach Cafe

I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely story and getting to know all the characters was wonderful.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Beach cafe

Story too plain and sugary, the description of the characters not trustworthy. The strength of the book is the location of the story.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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So slow

Whilst I did enjoy the characters and the light hearted nature of this story the thing that really let it down for me was how long it took to get going!

We know she's going to take on the beach cafe because it's called the beach cafe so why all the dithering about will she/won't she??? Grrrrrr!! And for a book that hints that romance is the main theme there literally wasn't ANY until the last 3 hours and then it was like the author went through the motions - no real development of the relationship just - ooh nice bod now I'll sleep with him now I love him... And the essential drama of their relationship was cleared up far too quickly and easily especially considering how shockingly slow it was at other times!!

If this is your kind of thing (it is mine!) I'd recommend Erica James who writes a lot better and whose characters don't have you screaming at your mobile phone!

Really quite a waste of a credit ....

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good For Falling Asleep To

This is the ideal audio book to listen to before falling asleep. The reason for this is that nothing really happens, and what does happen unfolds so slowly that you're bound to catch up the next time if you fall asleep while the audio book is playing. But, it's all very pleasant and nice, with scenes of the seaside, pubs and friendly people, set in a beautiful part of the country.

The book sort of ambles along, somewhere in between a romance novel and a tourist information leaflet. The characters are a bit 1 dimensional, and the writing is quite weak in places. The main character seems to flip between using semi-pornographic language and ridiculously childish language. For example at one stage she says "So … nir, nir" to make fun of someone and then further into the book she's talking crudely about male genitalia with ease. It's like this thirty something character was half written back in the Victorian age and half written in some seedy 70s video. It's all very inconsistent. The other characters have names but they really don't leap out as being anything more than props to keep the "storyline" hovering on life support.

Part of the book is set in Oxford, and I get the impression that the author herself might be over-privileged and from a similar part of the country. I imagine the author was comfortably able top opt out of life in order to write this book, and not have to worry about money. The book certainly doesn't seem to have the keen insight into anything in society, even though it tries to touch upon social issues. There's that element of cushioning from the world which only comes from an over-privileged background. There's a homeless character and you really get the impression that the author has no idea about the real issues of homelessness or that she has ever been exposed to any sort of harsh reality of life beyond an Ocado delivery with too many substituted goods.

Technology-wise the book is already a bit dated. It mentions email a lot, whereas now I suspect social media would be used in its place. In fairness, it probably was in 2012 when the book was published. And the main character would certainly have used Facebook to advertise her café and to communicate with customers rather than email. Who under 60 uses email these days?

So, I've been a bit harsh in reviewing this book. The fact is, I did listen to it through to the end. Apart from the aforementioned irritabilities, this was a good bedtime story and guaranteed to send you off to sleep. Just make sure you say "Alexa, stop reading in 15 minutes" so that the audio book doesn't continue after you've entered the land of nod.

14 people found this helpful

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Great narration, twee story line

Easy listening as the narrator was really good, great tone and delivery of all the parts. The story was ok, a bit twee, but felt let down by what a wet lettuce the main heroine was. She fit into a lot of negative stereotypes- concerned with her appearance, cried a lot, fell in 'love' after 2 weeks of knowing someone and became a bit obsessed. there were a lot of good points about her too, kind hearted and hard working but I felt on the whole she was not an inspiring character for me.

3 people found this helpful

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Yuck

Sorry, I feel mean giving a less than mediocre review as it’s a dear little book in a certain way but for me it was so yucky, trite and twee I could barely bare to listen to it. Predictable and banal, yet it had just a little bit of sweetness to it that made me plough on. The tweeness of the story was perfectly reflected by the narrator’s voice and I’m sure this might appeal to some people, but it was difficult for me to finish. Frankly I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone looking for a remotely intelligent or satisfying read.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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please dont waste your time

This book is so bad. It is written as if for primary school children. avoid

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Hmm..

Another book that I bought due to the reviews but I just could not get into it! I think I only listened to a few chapters and couldn't listen anymore.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Very predictable

A very predictable story. Girl leaves one man and finds a handsome new one. Not a book I would normally read/listen to but it passed the time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Delia
  • 17-11-12

Makes Me Want To Run Away to Cornwall

I thoroughly enjoyed this. The story made me want to immerse myself in the location and hang out with the characters in a way I haven't felt about a book in a long time. It starts out a little sad and stressful for Evie when she first inherits a little seaside Cafe from her beloved Aunt. Her staff is horrible and some of the townsfolk are unkind to her at first when they mistakenly think she is there is sell the Cafe to developers. But things get better and better through hard work, a few stumbles, some great ideas, and the help of some great secondary characters, from her best friend who comes down from Oxford to help her out for a time, and new people she meets along the way. The locals finally realize what a good heart she has and the cafe becomes an important centre of the community.
I really needed a feel good story right now and this hit just the right chord. The narrator was also wonderful. She does such a great job of all the different characters, both male and female voices, different accents, elderly women, children - they all sounded distinct and appealing. I always knew who was speaking. I have listened to a couple other books Jane Collingwood has narrated and she really is becoming one of my favourites.
I am definitely going to check out some more books by Lucy Diamond as well.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Géna
  • 02-01-13

Enjoyable holiday narrative

If you could sum up The Beach Café in three words, what would they be?

Light Charming Entertainment

What did you like best about this story?

I particularly liked the thought/plot that success is possible in unlikely circumstances when following your passion and applying all efforts towards that ‘goal’.

Which character – as performed by Jane Collingwood – was your favorite?

Evie

Who was the most memorable character of The Beach Café and why?

The Australian waitress - her 'seize-whatever-opportunity-that-comes-along' and easy-going nature was inspiring.

Any additional comments?

Lucy Diamond manage to create a beautiful beach/holiday backdrop for the story with a plausible storyline and characters. Overall it is a 'feel-good-story'.As narrator Jane Collingwood did a very good job. Her accents are convincing and it was simple to distinguish the characters from each other.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-06-18

An enjoyable audiobook

There were times when the sisters voices weren't very verbally distinguished from each other, and in the audiobook, Evie Flynn has got a slightly proper and composed way about her - I got a different impression when I read the paperback. I liked how the narrator paced herself when she spoke, and I enjoyed her verbal sense of humor; she also settled into a very pleasant narrative voice about halfway through the audiobook. There were times where some of Evie's family were pretty judgemental, and I ended up enjoying the romance as I did when I read the paperback.

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  • Leisha
  • 28-03-13

OK story - nothing to write home about

The story sounded good - down on her luck girl inherets beach Cafe - new life and adventures ahead of her.

Unfortunately that's pretty much the story, other than meeting a few un-interesting people along the way.

I didnt give up on it and each morning would listen to the next part but it lacked that 'whats going to happen next' feel.

I didnt bond with any of the characters - neither liked or disliked them. The plot(s) didnt hold my interest and it all just kind of felt flat.

The narration by Jane Collingwood was, as always, great but regardless of how good the narrator is, if the story is not interesting ... ......