by K.R.R. Lockhaven
When Jacob Bright strikes out on his own and moves to a new island, he quite unexpectedly finds himself the owner of a failing, capybara-themed pub named Mrs. Covington's . He quickly learns that he's going to have to make new friends and innovate if it's going to succeed. But when he learns that a neighboring Faun food restaurant, run by his kindhearted new friend, might have to close its doors, his priorities change.
Years ago, a reclusive wealthy woman lived on the island, and she wrote a clue in poem form which leads to a mysterious buried treasure. The treasure may be just the thing they need to save the restaurant, but they aren't the only people seeking it.
Mrs. Covington's is a cozy fantasy book brimming with kindness, empathy, found family, and nachos.
SPFBO9 – Our Reviews
In Mrs. Convington’s we follow our main character Jacob as he is embarking on a new life away from the confines of his father and the life of privilege he previously led. While this cushy life certainly had its positives, it also came with some severe emotional abuse from said parental figure that has given Jacob a crisis of self-worth. Searching for adventure and new meaning, we enter the story as Jacob arrives on a ship to a small island and takes an interest in a failing pub.
This book had a delightful set-up for a cozy fantasy: a small out-of-the-way island, naïve but kind protagonist, found family, animal sidekicks, beer, & a treasure hunt. What more could you want? Unfortunately for me, a bit more.
While all of these elements no doubt paint a heartwarming picture, I found that I experienced most of them on a surface level only. While I am no means a ‘show don’t tell’ purist, in my opinion, there was too much telling here. A good example of this is that there are some interludes that focus on the animal companions which I do believe are smart little side stories to include! However, they are written from a third person view which made me feel like an anthropologist watching creatures from afar (striking an academic tone) rather than actually getting to know the furry little capybaras better. While some people may not (and have not if you look at other reviews!) have this experience, I felt that distance consistent throughout the story which never led me to feel invested in the characters or their experiences.
I did really enjoy the themes of togetherness and that we are stronger together than we are apart as this very much rings true to the truth of the world in my experience. There were also several scenes where the atmosphere of the pub leaped off the page and made me very much want to visit it in real life.
If the premise of the story sounds interesting to you as a reader, give it a try and it may be the cozy fantasy you’re searching for. But unfortunately for me, this is going to be a cut from this year’s SPFBO competition.
Reading the excerpt for Mrs. Covington’s, I was super excited to dive into this great read, as it promised to be one that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
First, it was a decent read, but I found it to move rather slow, which made it hard to keep my attention. I kept reading, hoping it would pick up a bit more, but at 54%, I stopped reading. I even skipped back several chapters, thinking maybe I missed something in a sleep haze. It was not to be, sadly.
Second, the characters are pretty relatable. I didn’t find that there was too much of a stretch with them. Jacob, of course, is the main character, and the struggles with keeping a business afloat is something that many can relate to, and the financial drains that can come along with it.
Finally, this book needs to come with a warning label – may desire nacho’s while reading this book. Seriously, I had to go out and get some the next day, as the description in the book made me hungry.
This book has a lot of potential, and while it may not have been my cup of tea, it has some fantastic reviews! I encourage readers to try it for themselves, and perhaps find a great new read!