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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Samantha is, as the subtitle suggests, a back story to the Amie in Africa books, so Amie does make a few appearances. One of them is with Mum, when they deliver her bossy, dismissive, super-efficient, elder sister Samantha’s forgotten passport to the airport. That is just the first disaster long-suffering boyfriend, Gerry, experiences with his intrepid traveler girlfriend. If it can go wrong, it does – and back in the 1980s even the Costa Blanca was relatively undeveloped with hotels, bars, and shops staffed by Spaniards welcoming the influx of foreign currency whilst speaking very little English. Two weeks in Spain isn’t all Samantha has planned. This is her first venture abroad without her parents, and she intends to visit Italy, Greece, and Turkey, but does she make it?
Lucinda Clarke spends just enough time featuring Samantha and Amie at home to establish both their characters, and by doing so she ensures her readers can expect a laugh-out-loud comedy, and she delivers. The airport fiasco means Sam and Gerry arrive at a Spanish hotel frazzled and exhausted, but why would the one person who speaks English deny Sam the use of the lift? She has luggage and their room is on the fourth floor – the hotel is only half-built. Then there’s the awful price of laundry, until Gerry finds a launderette that isn’t DIY like those in England… and one mustn’t forget Sam’s urgent need for a sunhat. Don’t miss this hilarious treat, but don’t read it behind your computer monitor at work either!