Book Review: Catch of the Day

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Author: Carla Caruso
ISBN: 978-0-14-357096-7
RRP: $15.99

While I was debating my TBR pile the other day I came across a couple of books that I really wanted to read and in the end I chose Catch of the Day because it is set in South Australia, author Carla Caruso was born and raised in Adelaide, and being as that’s where I call home it was the deciding factor in me choosing this read.


Catch of the Day sees Adelaide-born Sydney-sider Winnie Cherry relocated to Kingston in coastal South Australia to set up a new beach lifestyle magazine. The reason for her relocation is a behavioural infraction at the work Christmas party that means she is much better out of sight for a while. The new magazine Beach Life is run by the same parent company as the magazine Winnie was working on and much of the production will still take place in Sydney.

The Beach Life staff based in Kingston consists of Winnie and Olive, who is dealing with advertising. There is a freelance photographer in the area and everything else will be done from Sydney, which means Winnie is still answering to Christa and it was Christa that caught her in her compromising moment. The launch issue of Beach Life is due for release in two months and Winnie is planning for the end of her stint at the magazine to coincide with the publication of the first issue.

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Winnie is an ambitious young woman who wants to be someone, she wants to make something of her life, she doesn’t want to just drift with the flow and see where life takes her. To that end she left Adelaide at an early age to head for Sydney and the glossy magazine world of the bright lights and big city thinking that would be where she could make it big. Imagine her distress at being sent back to South Australia, to a small coastal town 300kms from the city. She arrives in town all city-slickered up and with her eye on the exit door, unwilling to get involved or consider putting down roots.

At first glance Kingston is what Winnie is expecting, a backwater small town that closes up shop early, unless it’s the pub you’re talking about, and where gossip is rife. Winnie feels completely out of place from the outset and can not comprehend how on earth she is going to pull together an entire magazine in two short months with what she has to work with in this small town.

We all know that first impressions can be deceiving and Winnie soon finds herself discovering local stories to fill the pages, as well as locals to spend time with and slowly get to know. Being a coastal romance it wouldn’t be complete without an enigmatic hunk to capture Winnie’s attention, and be completely off limits – emotionally if not physically. Enter freelance photographer and fisherman Alex Bass, with whom the sparks fly and so do the tempers.

I found Catch of the Day to be well paced, it kept me interested and there was always something going on. From the beginning you knew there was more to Alex than met the eye, he said as much himself, and you knew the truth would come out in the end. I was still surprised when it did because with all the possibilities I had entertained the big reveal was not one of them.

Winnie’s coastal change gave her time to sit back and evaluate, Alex challenged her to think about the things she really wanted and so her journey of self discovery was nice to follow. To see her have the time to think about the plan she had plotted and the life she had moved away from in Sydney and compare that with who she wanted to be and what she wanted to be.

Catch of the Day was a nice, light read to devour while trying to ignore the heat this week; it would make a great beach read. I enjoyed the story, the narrative was well written, the chemistry was there, the book certainly had all the makings but it didn’t really set me on fire. I do love the South Australian setting, though I’ve never been to Kingston I think I might like to visit one day, and I will definitely be on the look out for more from Carla Caruso.

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