Book Recommendation – Positively Penelope by Pepper Basham

Book Description:

The world could do with a little more kindness and positivity and random acts of singing, don’t you think?

Dear Reader, My name is Penelope, and while I may not be a real-life princess, I’ve been told I possess a certain fairy-tale heroine quality. I wield optimism as my weapon of choice, don amazing shoes and vintage hats whenever possible, and speak in musical references. All of which perfectly qualifies me to succeed in my new role as a marketing intern at the historic Darling House theater on the island of Skymar.

Only . . . it seems this internship position is going to be a LOT bigger than I thought. The Gray family, who owns the theater, has been stuck in a rut of darkness ever since the loss of their matriarchs. Now all that’s left is a dying theater, a reclusive grandfather, three siblings, and an adorable seven-year-old girl who desperately needs some pixie-dust magic.

So that’s what this story is about. My plans to save the theater! (Plans that, somehow, keep being stolen by a local competitor.) And an anonymous online theater troupe. And two single brothers who may be vying for this American girl’s heart . . . until they’re not (or maybe they just want me for my ideas too). And a dream job offer that will require me to make a truly heart-wrenching decision. I may not excel at finishing stories, but I promise to see this one through to its happily ever after.



Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Positively Penelope, a charming romance story set on a fictional island in northern Europe. The story opens in an epistolary style with messages and email communications that tell the story. There is a shift toward the middle of the book to less epistolary content in the latter part of the story.

The story has strong grumpy sunshine themes. Penelope is radiating brilliant sunshine and exudes optimism and positivity, irrespective of the circumstances. Her glass isn’t just half fill. Her glass is abundantly overflowing with positivity all the time accompanied by a refreshing dose of honesty.

The Gray brothers, who own the community theatre that Penelope is trying to save, have very different personalities. As the story progresses, it becomes clear which brother Penelope is falling for, and why. That said, I wouldn’t describe the story as a love triangle. A delightful romance unfolds that leads to a satisfying happily-ever-after.

Penelope is obsessed with Julie Andrews and Mary Poppins, and it wasn’t until I was well into the story and saw a reference to Blue Ridge Mountains that I realized I’d mistakenly believed Penelope was British. I still enjoyed the story, despite my minor confusion in hearing Penelope’s voice in Julie Andrews’ British accent in my head for part of the story. I recommend Positively Penelope to contemporary romance readers who like epistolary style stories with grumpy sunshine themes and a relevant faith element in the story.

Many thanks to the author for providing an advanced reader copy.

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