Book Review | Walking on Sunshine by Giovanna Fletcher

⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5)

Pia’s passing has left Mike without his wife, and Vicky and Zaza are without their friend. Although they are all experiencing the grief of their loss, the world continues and they find themselves struggling. The three friends are all at different stages of their lives, but they are all wondering the same thing, ‘is this it?’. When they decide to embrace Pia’s attitude, the three friends find themselves off on a treck in Peru. Perhaps this trek will turn out to be what they all need?

Inspired by Giovanna Fletcher’s treks with the charity Coppafeel! I love how this novel explores such deep feelings and yet still feels warm and uplifting.

Mike, Vicky and Zaza are all in different places in life. Mike has lost his partner, Vicky finds herself struggling with motherhood and her marriage, and newly engaged Zaza is having doubts. Each of these characters gives Fletcher the space to explore some really interesting topics and issues and I think that she tackles all of them extremely well.

Something I love about Fletcher’s novels is that they feel so relatable and down-to-earth. Her characters are never judged, but are human. They go through hard times and they make mistakes, but there is always something hopeful and inspiring about seeing how they pick themselves back up and get through the difficult times.

In this particular novel, we get to see three friends doing this together. On their trek they are physically and mentally challenged, but we see them go through this together.

There are great wider messages in this novel about friendship, expressing your feelings, the importance of communication, and the fact that we don’thave to suffer and struggle alone.

Additionally, I liked the explorations of parenthood and relationships. Both of these can be huge elements of our lives and sometimes they are hard. Our relationships change, we change, our lives change, and the character’s feelings of insecurity and scaredness, amongst other things, are so relatable.

Throughout the novel, it did feel like Pia’s presence was there. The three friends are on this adventure because of her, and we read of their thoughts and memories about her. I think Fletcher was able to evoke Pia’s presence so well without the use of a tool such as flashbacks. It meant that the reader is able to feel her presence like the three charcters do.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend giving it a read. It is emotional at times, but I enjoyed joining Mike, Vicky and Zaza on their trip.

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