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26 July 2015

Review: 'Sand in My Shoes' by Jenny Harper (2015)

Headteacher Nicola Arnott prides herself on her independence. She has successfully juggled motherhood and career, coping with early widowhood by burying her emotions somewhere deep inside herself. When a cancer scare shakes her out of her careful approach to life, she finds herself thinking wistfully of her first love, a young French medical student. 

She decides to revisit the sleepy French town she remembers from her teenage years – and is astonished to meet up with Luc again. The old chemistry is still there – but so is something far more precious: a deep and enduring friendship. 

Can it turn into true love?

Summer wouldn't be summer without some fun and quick short stories to read during an hour or two in the garden in the sunshine, enjoying a breeze on the balcony, or spending a day on the beach! Earlier this year I was part of the blog tour for author Jenny Harper's novel 'People We Love'; a book which I really enjoyed (click here to read my review). When Jenny contacted me, asking whether I would be interested in reading and reviewing her summer novella 'Sand in My Shoes' (which was released as an e-book on the 4th of July) I straight away said yes. I managed to find the time to squeeze in this short and quick summer read and am excited to share my review with all of you today!

Nicola Arnott has been through some difficult periods in her life, mainly becoming a widow and single mum at a young age after the completely unexpected death of her husband. Yet, Nicola managed to raise her daughter and build up a career for herself, leading a calm and careful life. So, when her life is shaken up by a cancer scare, Nicola decides she deserves a break. She goes back to the French small town of Arcachon where she spent some wonderful summers when she was a teenager. It also makes her think of her first love, French medical student Luc. Nicola doesn't expect to run into Luc again, but when she does it raises a few questions. Will they be able to pick things up from where they left it all those years ago, or has too much happened to the both of them...?

I really enjoyed this short story with a summer feel by author Jenny Harper. The story focuses on a fascinating protagonist whom I straight away liked; Nicola has dealt with a lot of things in her life and after a recent cancer scare she decides to take a break from it all. While there's usually not a lot of space and time in short stories to really provide the reader with a lot of detail, I really felt like I got to know Nicola and was curious to see what this trip to France would lead to. The story also includes some flashbacks, going back to the time when Nicola was a teenager and fell in love with French student Luc. The chemistry between the two of them is definitely there, and I loved being able to go back in time to see what happened to young Nicola and what this period meant to her. 

Jenny Harper's writing is a true pleasure to get lost it and really suitable for a quick and entertaining but also touching summer read like this one. I already feel like I had some sort of connection with the characters and wouldn't mind reading more about them! The setting of the short story is perfect for a summer read and will make you long for a holiday to the beautiful town of Arcachon yourself! Overall, 'Sand in My Shoes' is a thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced and touching read by an author whose work I am starting to enjoy more and more. A great novella to pick up if you're looking for a quick summer read, and I personally already can't wait to pick up Jenny Harper's next novel!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I'm so thrilled you liked my summer novella, Jody! Thank you for taking the time to squeeze it in to your busy schedule. :-)

    1. You are very welcome, Jenny! Thanks for providing me with a review copy; can't wait to read your next release! :)

    2. You are very welcome, Jenny! Thanks for providing me with a review copy; can't wait to read your next release! :)