Happy new year, blog readers! And what better way to start out a new year than with a brand new Boro Book! You know how much we love our local authors so we were proper chuffed when we were introduced to Liz Taylorson’s debut novel, The Little Church by the Sea. 

little church by the sea by liz taylorson

Isolated and unwelcome in the picturesque seaside village of Rawscar, Reverend Cass Fordyce has lost her faith and her home. Christmas is coming, and she isn’t looking forward to it. Then she meets attractive local man Hal – twice divorced and with a reputation as a ladies’ man he’s everything that a celibate vicar like Cass should avoid… especially as Hal is hiding secrets of his own, including his past with the mysterious Anna. Can Cass ever find her way in Rawscar? What secret does Hal have to hide? And is there ever such a thing as a truly fresh start?

Love Middlesbrough Lass Emma is your reviewer today, so over to you Emma…

I was sceptical at best for this book given that it is set at Christmas and we all know Christmas media is mainly cheesy romance that just gets boring after so long. I was still willing to try it out – even more so when I heard it was about a female vicar… this was new. I also found the amount of foul language in this book – used the same way I would – quite hilarious; I think anyone would if it came from a vicar!

My favourite part of the book is the main character. Cass – the female vicar for a small fishing village turned holiday retreat – is possibly one of the most well written female characters placed in regular modern day life. She is sarcastic, caring and most importantly, human. She isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination and the only time she is referred to from an aesthetic viewpoint is in reference to her dog collar or lack of it. I like the lack of physical description, it leaves more to my imagination. She is also a bit of an outcast from this town – being an incomer to the town rather than a local.

Locals to Middlesbrough and surrounding areas may see some parallels between the small, fictional town of Rawscar and our local area. There’s even a reference to our favourite Captain Cook!

I have to say, there are some major plot twists in this book that just keep you hooked – I’m not saying any more though; you’re just going to have to find out yourself. By the third chapter I was kinda hooked, and I spent almost every bus journey reading this. I really recommend this book for those looking for an alternative winter read – even though it’s labelled as a Christmas book it could totally be read any time of the year.

liz taylorson

Liz Taylorson is an amazing author who has painted a realistic view of life and women rather than things being perfect and women always looking amazing. This book is super realistic and explores real problems in real people’s lives – such as unlikely friends, losing faith and hating your small hometown. The book explores so much that it’s impossible to write in one blog post – so just go read it!

Buy the book on Amazon