Ireland – The Hotel on Mulberry Bay – Melissa Hill

MUL

Why a booktrail?

1980s, 2000s – A story of a hotel, a place, whose fortunes are closely linked to the family and the community who live there.

Story

Mulberry Hotel sits perched on a cliff top above a sweeping bay south of Wexford in Ireland. It was once the heart and soul of the area and the community but time and lack of money has seen a once great hotel and home become a shadow of its former self.

Sisters Penny and Eleanor Harte grew up there and although Elle moved away, she has never forgotten the happy times there. So when family tragedy strikes and she is forced to return to Mulberry Bay, she is heartbroken to see the heart of the community struggling.

But the Harte family are not done with it yet and neither are the local community. But is it the hotel or the family that they are trying to save?

. Place and Setting

Screen shot 2015-11-27 at 12.01.13
Wexford Coast and Eyre Square in Galway as featured in the novel

Mulberry Bay is sadly not real but it is very much inspired by a real life hotel and the home town of the author Melissa Hill. Cahir in Country Tipperary is the real life Mulberry Bay having inspired Mellissa to write her story of survival and community spirit.

Mulberry Bay

Perched high on a hill above a sweeping bay, and overlooking the pretty little seaside town with a sugarloaf mountain as a backdrop, the Bay’s Coastal location and seafront bedrooms were a perfect haven for tourists.

This is a place that the sisters Eleanor and Penny have grown up and loved ever since. Despite Penny moving away to London, it’s Mulberry Bay which has stayed in her heart. The hotel, a tourist haven was their home growing up and so memories are embedded in its walls and floating in the air all around.

The sense of community in this small seaside town is admirable. For family tragedy unites them all and a secret kept by Ned, the girl’s father is endearing. His memories of the good old days, and how life seems to be recorded in every single Beatles song in his collection is a heartwarming way to reunite a place with your life time memories across the decades.

Review – Susan

Read with a soundtrack of the Beatles – you will not regret it for this book has so many things to make you smile and show you how both places and music can really enhance your memories of your past.

I did think before reading that this might be a twee story – community spirit etc saving a failing hotel, but I was so wrong. It is SO much more than this and rather about protecting what you love and trying to do the right thing. Community comes together yes but not in the way you think. this is realistic and very heartwarming. A tear came to my eye with Ned and what he did. Elle and Penny I warmed to immediately and Anna of course who was their mother.

Set in Ireland I felt worked well for this novel as there’s something about the Emerald Isle and its people which really lends itself to this kind of story. When I realised it was based on the author’s hometown (although the hotel is not in dire straits) I immediately wanted to go in the hope that I could meet my very own Harte family and their friends.

Melissa if you ever need a travel buddy? …

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