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  • Writer's pictureLynne McConway

Welcome to Glorious Tuga book review

A funny, heartwarming read by Francesca Segal - perfect for the summer


Front cover of Welcome to Glorious Tuga with a garden in the background
Welcome to Glorious Tuga by Francesca Segal

Charlotte Walker is a vet, in her twenties, living in London in her mum’s basement. She travels to the isolated tropical island of Tuga in the South Atlantic to take up a year’s research into the local gold coin tortoise population. She also has questions about the Dad she never knew and whom she believes had a connection with the island.


We get to know the island’s eccentric inhabitants alongside Charlotte who, after taking some time to acclimatise to a new way of life, is soon embedded in the island community and takes on the role of local vet.


On the boat to Tuga, Charlotte took a shine to Dan, a returning islander who has lived in London for 15 years. Dan struggles to fit in and has to deal with the resentment of the locals who prefer Dr Saul, the retiring GP who will make way for Dan. His life becomes more complicated by commitments he made in the UK which derail his return further.


Alongside Charlotte and Dan, we meet Levi, her new landlord, Marianne, a young mother of 11-year-old Annie and Garrick, a pastor who will unearth secrets that will change Charlotte's life.


The novel has a lot of depth. Alongside the romantic plot line are themes including addiction, maternal care, isolation and loneliness, all written with a lightness of touch that drew me in. It's a long book at 350 pages. There were a couple of moments when I felt it could have been edited down but the pacing is good and it did keep me engaged.


Overall, I enjoyed reading about Charlotte and the islanders and recommend Welcome to Glorious Tuga, especially for a long flight or lazing on the beach this summer.


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