My Greek Island Summer – Mandy Baggot

I INTENDED to read this book by the pool side at a hotel in Kos, but with coronavirus that went by the wayside.

I read this romantic comedy in the living room with the sun shining through the windows.

Thankfully the book alone was enough to evoke some of the atmosphere of Greece even without the Mediterranean view and piña coladas.

Baggot's latest feelgood chick-lit tale is like many of her others set on Corfu, an island whose places and people she clearly understands.

Her latest heroine is Becky, a slightly shy and uptight twentysomething who works as a sandwich maker for her go-ahead sister's catering business.

Propping up the family after her father's death, Becky secretly created exciting sandwiches fillings whose popularity keeps the business from going under.

Fed up of being treated the doormat, Becky answers an advertisement for a housesitter in Corfu. Mansion-seater actually, because the luxury villa comes complete with infinity pool and vintage cars.

The first third of the novel follows Becky's chaotic attempts to reach the island despite flight cancellations – a journey where she and befriends a sparky teenage backpacker and keep bumping into Elias, a hunky Greek divorce lawyer heading for Corfu to confront the wife of his client.

It's no surprise that Becky is housesitting for the wife of Elias's client, bringing them into close proximity – and no surprise either that the pair find themselves falling for each other.

There's plenty of fun along the way, most entertainingly from the marriage woes of Elias's estranged mother and father who live in the nearby village.

Baggot's talent, in addition to her strong command of story and setting, is in creating characters that are very normal, very likeable but still interesting.

This is a terrific example of an undemanding, feelgood story for the sun lounger – even if you have to set it up in your living room!

David Knights