Welcome to the School by the Sea
Series: Little School by the Sea #1
by Jenny Colgan
Publication Date March 29, 2022
Published by HarperCollins
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Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Women
The first book of Jenny Colgan’s delightful new four-part series, set at a charming English boarding school on the sea.
Maggie went to the window and opened it wide, inhaling the lovely salt air off the sea. Why had she never lived by the sea before? Why had she always looked out on housing estates and not the little white hulls of trawlers bobbing off in the distance?
It’s gloriously sunny in Cornwall as the school year starts at the little boarding school by the sea. Maggie, the newest teacher at Downey House, is determined to make her mark. She’s delighted by her new teaching job, but will it come at the expense of her relationship with her safe, dependable boyfriend Stan?
Simone is excited and nervous: she’s won a scholarship to the prestigious boarding school and wants to make her parents proud. Forced to share a room with the glossy, posh girls of Downey House, she needs to find a friend, fast.
Fliss is furious. She’s never wanted to go to boarding school and hates being sent away from her home. As Simone tries desperately to fit in, Fliss tries desperately to get out.
Over the course of one year, friendships will bloom and lives will be changed forever. Life at the Little School by the Sea is never dull…
Welcome to the School by the Sea by Jenny Colgan was previously published using a pen name, Jane Beaton. It is her first book in her Maggie Adair series. I really enjoyed this book set in a boarding school on the coast of Cornwall.
Maggie Adair is a schoolteacher, working in an inner-city school in Glasgow where she grew up. She’s increasingly frustrated with the school, and her boyfriend she’s had since they were both in school together. She decides that it might be her last chance to get out of there and she applies to an elite boarding school in Cornwall to be an English teacher for girls.
When she is accepted at the school, she’s eager for a change, but her family and her boyfriend are not so enthusiastic. She’s in charge of a bunch of girls who test her limits, but nothing as unruly as the children in her previous school.
We also see the school through the eyes of Fliss, Simone, and Alice all get up to some trouble as they navigate their first year at boarding school.
I enjoyed this sweet story about the boarding school and I liked that it was from the perspective of a new teacher, two of the students, and the headmistress. The book covered one school year and finished when everyone left for summer break. I can’t wait to read the next book and see what happens to these characters in their next year at the school
The author does a fabulous job of describing the school and the grounds and I felt like I was there with the students. The characters are interesting and realistic, each with enough flaws to make them feel real without making them unappealing.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys women’s fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Welcome to the School by the Sea was previously published in 2008, under Jenny Colgan’s pen name, Jane Beaton with the title Class.