Welcome to Ferry Lane Market by Nicola May
Hartmouth in Cornwall is a special place. It is very special to thirty-three year old Kara Moon, where she lives at the centre of a small community. Her father runs the local ferry boat that enables locals and tourists to visit the market which runs two days a week, and when he was abandoned by Kara’s mother he was traumatised. Unwilling to leave her vulnerable father alone, Kara gave up her college place to study floristry; she still loves flowers and works long hours for a local florist. It is when she finally gives up on a long term boyfriend and throws him out of her home that she realises that she must make a new start.
This is a lively novel of people in a setting of a close community which works well; the writing is sparkling and mature while the overall story is well constructed with some twists and turns. There is romance, but that is only one element of a story which celebrates family life, friendship and the need for adventure and new beginnings. There are some truly touching moments as well as some funny incidents, linked by lively dialogue. Kara and the other characters are well drawn, consistent and really come alive. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this novel.
The book begins with Kara trying to cope with a difficult terrapin called Sid Vicious which belongs to her feckless boyfriend Jago.He is unemployed, obsessed with the Beatles and evidently a drain on Kara’s resources in every respect. This particular Friday she is going to take action with the support of her long term friend Star, who runs a shop in the village. It would seem that Kara is painfully aware of Jago’s failings, and begins to realise that she has taken too long to get rid of him. On her journey to where she knows he will be, she encounters her father’s assistant on the ferry, Billy Dillon, who despite being younger than Kara, has strong feelings for her. There are other people who have a real affection for Kara. Probably the closest is her grandfather, Harry, who lives with her father Joe. The shopkeepers and cafe owners are all happy to see her, and it is obvious that she is a local favourite. Finding herself living alone, her friend Star suggests that she takes in AirB&B guests, and in those first few weeks she meets some interesting people from various parts of the world. Her realisation that there is more of the world to discover may well come to some special climax when she is offered the opportunity of a lifetime – but will she take it?
This is a very special book which is optimistic in its tone, as there are some satisfying events, discoveries and revelations throughout. Kara is a well rounded character who is naturally popular and shows some very human traits. Her relationship with her family is realistic, including her sister who left to go to University and never returned to Hartmouth. This is an enjoyable book which I really recommend to anyone who likes contemporary fiction with romance and community life set in beautiful Cornwall, and adventures elsewhere.