Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Shack by the Bay (Lea Davey)

Loved the setting, hated the relationships


Title: The Shack by the Bay
Author: Rhonda Forrest (as Lea Davey)
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
First published: 2016
Edition: Kindle ebook

An isolated fishing shack on a beautiful bay in the Whitsundays provides Luke with a retreat where he can find peace and solitude. However, the discovery of family war relics, and a developing relationship with the beautiful Lily, connects family histories and reveals a story that threatens to destroy his chance at real happiness.


I remember my time in Australia fondly and I do enjoy reading books set there. This one is set in beautiful Northern Queensland and did make me want to re-visit. However, ultimately I felt a bit let down by this novel.

There was much to like about this book. There were lovely descriptions of nature and even of fishing. I appreciated the writing at moments like that and I felt like I was there. It was also an interesting commentary how the past echoes into the present, especially when it comes to prejudice and grudges against a whole people.

However, the relationship between Luke and Lily, which is at the heart of this book, made me so mad. Luke is in his late twenties and Lily in her early twenties and he is just so incredibly patronizing to her. Yes, apparently he loves her, but if a man treated me like that I would run a mile. Never does she appear to be his equal and that bothered me a lot.

I do think that this book had enough strong points that I would seek out more work from this author. This was her debut novel and I am curious to see what else she has written, as I really loved some of her writing. I just did not like the relationship and ultimately it was a tad disappointing.

Oh, and if you are squeamish about fishing, this is not the book for you!

4 out of 7 stars

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