"Festival Fireworks" by Ann Burnett is a lighthearted, feel good novel about a couple of star-crossed lovers, Jill and Andrew, who seem destined to be together, even though they aren't often on the same alignment.
Jill finds herself in Edinburgh in the middle of August, in festival season. She’s travelled from Australia, whilst her Aunt Linda has gone the other way, offering Jill the use of her city centre flat and car. Andrew lives opposite and Linda has spoken very highly of him, of his kindness and friendliness. Unfortunately, the pair do not get off to the best of starts, when an angry Andrew insists Jill has parked in his space and she needs to move Linda’s car immediately. Half asleep and badly jet lagged Jill gives as good as she gets and whilst they both feel a frisson the scene is set for a volatile relationship to develop.
As with all books of this genre, "Festival Fireworks" encourages the reader to look for the happy ending, even before the first few chapters are through. It’s hard to see that there will be one for this particular pair, but those romantic souls amongst us always hope that there will be. It’s the way the characters negotiate the rocky road to love and happiness that keeps us turning the page.
But there is another star in this story and it’s Edinburgh. Ann Burnett clearly knows the city well. Her pen pictures, for those of us who also know our way around, are accurate and atmospheric. The description of the tenement flats and the stair will be familiar to those of have lived in or visited an Edinburgh tenement. The sights and sounds portrayed in her writing bring to life the city during the summer and give a real feel for what it’s really like. It has authenticity about it. And similarly, when we follow our pair further afield, the routes, the places and their experiences of the country more widely have a realism about them.
I am not going to spoil either the story or it’s ending by recounting what goes on between the pages of "Festival Fireworks". It’s enough to say that there are many twists and turns in this tale, making it a most enjoyable read.