“Their eyes met and locked. Pulling his hand from his pocket, Neville waved. Once.”
Eight year old Neville is the first to notice that the red beach hut is occupied again.
Abbott, panicked by what he believes is a homophobic cyber attack, is on the run. The hut is his refuge and shelter.
Inevitably man and boy collide. Their fleeting friendship is poignant, honest and healing. But Abbot’s past threatens to tear him away, as others watch and self-interpret what they see.
An evocative portrayal of two outsiders who find companionship on a lonely beach, Lynn Michell’s novel is about the labels we give people who are different, and the harm that ensues.
I took this book on holiday with me because I thought it sounded like such a fascinating read. I unfortunately didn’t get to it until the very last day, and the dreaded wait in the airport. I settled in to start The Red Beach Hut and before I knew it the two hour wait had gone by. I was completely sucked in by this beautifully written book, so much so that I wish I could get the chance to read it for the first time again.
I loved everything about The Red Beach Hut. I could picture the quiet slightly run down seaside town, the kind of place I probably visited with my parents as a child. The images Michell conjours up are so vivid, and so typical of British life. I also thought the characters were fantastic. Child protagonist Neville is perfect, equal parts trusting and questioning. There’s also a host of secondary characters that I thought were really fascinating: Neville’s mum doing whatever she can to make ends meet, as well as the nosy neighbours Bill and Ida who make it their business to get involved with everything that is happening around the little seaside town. These characters felt very realistic, perfectly capturing the essence of real people.
The writing in The Red Beach Hut is enthralling, and I found myself completely absorbed in Michell’s words. The plot is a really fascinating one to think about: a lonely boy makes friends with a man living in a red beach hut, and how that looks from the outside perspective. It gives the reader a lot to think about, and is incredibly relevant with today’s media. I enjoyed The Red Beach Hut immensely, and can’t recommend it highly enough.