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Sail Away

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,058 ratings  ·  113 reviews
The deliciously effervescent new novel from Celia Imrie, beloved character actress and author of Not Quite Nice, follows the exploits of two women on a cruise ship.

The phone hasn’t rung for months. Suzy Marshall is discovering that work can be sluggish for an actress over sixty—even for the star of a wildly popular 1980s TV series. So when her agent offers her the plum rol
Paperback, 364 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Bloomsbury USA (first published February 22nd 2018)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,058 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Sail Away by Celia Imrie is a contemporary story with a bit of mystery involved. The book follows two different women as they both go about their lives with their paths being drawn together and crossing.

Suzy Marshall is an out of work actress that finds that jobs get harder and harder to obtain now that she is in her sixties despite being on popular programs years before. When her agent contacts her with an opportunity she immediately gets excited thinking she will finally have something to pay
Sally Whitehead
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received this as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.

The opening section was great fun and I read the first 100 or so pages really quickly, it was all just the right side of camp and theatrical.

However, by the final 100 pages I was ready to throw myself overboard as I found myself stuck on this ship with a melodramatic plotline being laboriously dragged out for far longer than necessary. It all seemed to sort of lose sense of what it wanted to be - farcical comedy? Why then throw in themes of a much
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, fiction, mystery, travel
Celia Imrie is an excellent actress, but I found her writing in this book mediocre. The plot is somewhat convoluted at first as she tried valiantly to make up sensible reasons why all of her characters have ended up on the same boat and after that it chases itself round in circles a bit with people being able to fake IDs and identities with ease...
Listened to in audio format.

Sail Away is the third book I have listened to from actress Celia Imrie. After listening to her last two books Not Quite Nice and Nice Work she became one of my go to authors. When I saw she had released a third book I had to buy it.

Like Suzy and Amanda I have also been on a voyage from Dover to New York. The authors descriptions of the cruise ship were very realistic and I could imagine myself on board The Blue Mermaid.

The plot of Sail Away was actually quite complex
Rachel Gilbey
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
It seemed rather apt to read a book featuring a cruise ship, while on board a boat trip myself.

I loved getting to know both Suzy and Amanda, even before their path crossed and everything became that bit more complicated.

They are both women of an older generation, and through circumstances have decided that this trans-Atlantic cruise is the best thing they can do for the time being, one of them as its offering her work, and the other as she is sort of between homes, as her house buying chain wav
Franziska Self fisken
Light-hearted, fast-paced, amusing romp starring 2 60-odd Englishwomen whose lives become entwined due to a scoundrel. Humorous rather than witty, I shall certainly happily read more books by Celia Imrie!
I enjoyed reading yet another book with elderly heroines. Am realising that this is the new genre for fiction and films, just as romantic fiction featuring tired middle-aged divorcees appeared circa twenty years ago. Will I await fiction featuring 80 year olds in the 2030's?
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first novel by this immensely talented actress who now is becoming an immensely talented author!

A light-hearted, fun farce based around the antics of a couple of 60 ish women who both find themselves on a cruise ship for different reasons that lead their lives to be linked together. I liked Imrie's style of writing, obviously dipping into her vast theatrical background and using her great sense of humour to deliver an enjoyable fun read.

Lots happening in this book; likeable characters that w
Elisha Condie
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Celia Imrie writes books!? I had no idea. And they are pretty fun! Or at least this one was. It wasn't anything serious or heavy but I liked it. It's about Suzy, an older actress who joins a company for "The Importance of Being Earnest" in Germany which suddenly gets inexplicably cancelled and she finds work on a cruise ship lecturing to get home, and Amanda (a sixty-something grandmother) who finds herself between apartments and hops on the same cruise ship to pass the time.

There is a myste
Megan Jones
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Suzy Marshall is discovering that acting for a woman over sixty is a struggle. When she is offered the role of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in Zurich, she jumps at the chance. Until, the play is abruptly suspended and she is stranded. In desperate circumstances, Suzy takes a job on a cruise ship to get home. Meanwhile Amanda Herbert finds herself homeless in rainy Clapham. Her flat purchase has fallen through and she is faced with exorbitant hotel fees. Then she spots an adv ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Suzy is an unemployed actress of a certain age, desperate for a job, who finds herself lecturing on a cruise ship after a strange and unpleasant gig in Zurich falls through. Amanda is a widow who has just sold her house but whose plans for moving into an apartment have fallen through. She finds herself on the same cruise. Then there's Jason, who swears he's not responsible for the debacle in Zurich, and who takes a job on the ship as a gentleman host, dancing with unescorted women. What could ha ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Intrigue on the High Seas

I’ve never been on a cruise ship but I almost feel like I have after reading Sail Away. I expected a fun, light summer read and was not disappointed. I didn’t see the twists coming and was surprised to learn how the characters were ultimately interconnected.

Sail Away is the story of two older British women who each ends up on the same three week cruise ship. It is an entertaining read with some amusing characters and a few laugh ts along the way. There are a few twists
Rhonda Lomazow
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A cruise ship two women a delicious read a bit of a mystery.A perfect read to help you sail away even if you never leave your couch.Aperfect summer read,
Amanda Bazley
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book.
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read, though it could have been cut by about 25%, there was far too much padding in the story - mainly descriptive passages that added nothing to the story.
Colin Devonshire
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was unusual how I came by this book. My family and I had moved to a new house, 'Sail Away' had been left behind, untouched. Picking it up and flicking through a page or two. I was gripped. Thrillers are my normal choice, since reading Agatha Christie as a child I had not picked up a cozy novel.
Celia Imrie is known to me as a brilliant and funny actress. She is also a fantastic author.
A pleasant surprise, highly recommended.
Namrata Saigal
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quintessential brit chic-lit that never ever gets dull... waiting to read more works from Celia Imrie
Jane Gregg
Apr 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Do yourself a favour and don’t.
Asma (oasisgirlmd)
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Haven't read a summer contemporary in a long time,so this was a nice change.

* The setting was fun, on a cruise ship and I practically felt I was on one while reading this
* I liked the little trivia I learnt about actors and what goes on behind the scenes.
* Was a tad slow but really picked up towards the last half. The plot was great and a thriller set on a cruise ship made this extra delicious.

* Seemed a little dragged on in the middle.

Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I really like Celia Imrie and read and enjoyed her previous two books - partly because they were very light reads and not too demanding. I struggled with this book a bit. It was a mix of the light and the dark and I was not convinced that this entirely worked. There were some jokey parts, such as the cruise guest who misspoke on numerous occasions. However, the darker parts of this book made for a slightly uncomfrtable read. Partly because of the subject matter, but also partly because I wasn't ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, own, proof-copy
I was sent an uncorrected proof copy of this book by Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own!
The Plot

(from inside cover)

Suzy is discovering that work can be sluggish for an actress over sixty - and when her latest play is abruptly cancelled, she is forced to take a job on a cruise ship to get home.

Meanwhile, Amanda finds herself homeless in rainy Clapham. When she spots an advertisement for an Atlantic cruise, she realises three weeks on-board might just kee
Jenny Cooper
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
The two main characters in this book are Suzy, a struggling actress in her sixties who has been stranded in Europe after a show has been rather abruptly cancelled in mysterious circumstances and Amanda, a youngish grandmother who is trying to downsize but is having enormous complications with her new property purchase and finds herself temporarily homeless. Both of them end up on a transatlantic cruise liner, Suzy to work her passage home and Amanda because a last minute deal was as cheap a way ...more
Joy Freemantle
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it

Full Steam Ahead for an Enjoyable Voyage

The plotline of the novel centres around two contrasting women in late middle age. The first, Suzy, surely owes much of her experience and quite a bit of her character to Celia Imrie, her creator. She is an experienced actor, a confident and resourceful woman who is clearly attractive to others and fun to be with. The other, Amanda, differs completely. She has been cheated on by her husband, and is repeatedly used and ignored in turn by her unpleasant, gro
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A totally fun book about an actress searching for work and a woman who sold her house and bought a new apartment only to find out that the seller was having second thoughts. What to do? For Amanda Herbert it meant back to searching not only for a new apartment, but where to stay that night? Her daughter was no help, basically telling that she could stay for one night, and one night only. Meanwhile, Suzy Marshall was thrilled to be hired as Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest" for ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
2 stars (and that's generous)

I'm so sorry celia imrie! I still love you but this was a Flop with a capital F. 😔

I finished this book earlier today and I still don't know what to think.
The first thing I will say though is that I'm really quite disappointed with 'sail away'. I hate to say that because I have been wanting to read this for such a while but it was just flat.

I felt that all of the characters were really rude and I spent most of the time thinking that if I was spoken to the way some o
Marianne Ratcliffe
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a book with a bit of an identity crisis. The blurb and the opening chapters clearly position it as a cosy little mystery, with lots of fun and laughs along the way, but in the end it becomes something darker, morphing into something more like an average thriller. We meet Amanda and Suzy, two middle aged ladies with problems. They are both engaging characters, and you feel for them as various problems emerge which lead them both to end up on a cruise ship. The "mystery" of the story comes ...more
Nikita Jhanglani
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author takes sometime to build a backstory for both her lead characters, Suzy and Amanda. The story takes its time to build but when it picks up pace, you’ll know how important that backstory is. The buildup gives you time to understand the characters and enjoy their journey.

The story is visualized beautifully. Celia pays attention to small details when creating a scene, which makes for easy visualization. And she does that perfectly well, without really harping on the minutest details; givi
Louise Culmer
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
A mystery set on a luxury cruise ship crossing the Atlantic to New York. Two women, Suzy, an actress working on the ship, and Amanda, a passenger, are involved in solving the mystery. the actress, Suzy, takes the the job on the ship because she has no money, despite having appeared in a very succcesful 1980s tv series, which is now forgotten. in real life, she would probably have a steady income from repeat fees as her very popular show would undoubtedly be rerunning on One of the numerous chann ...more
Shevington Library
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tuesday Reading Group at Shevington Library. Wigan
Meets at on Tuesday, monthly, 4th, 12:00-13:00
We meet on the 4th Tuesday of every month, in the Art Gallery space at Shevington Library. We like to tackle all sorts of literature, and follow it up with discussions of our likes and dislikes. We are friendly and open to new members. Come along and Join us.

Our set book for this month was "Sail Away." by Celia Imrie. It was much enjoyed by the group Why not read some of their thoughts about this tit
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Celia Imrie's third novel is mainly set on an ocean liner where the two heroines by chance come to be on the same ship. They do not know each other and only come to together as the story gains pace for the ending. The cruise is a traumatic experience for both protagonists and as first timers not at all what they expected.
The chaos that ensues makes for an enjoyable humourous read, though if I am honest I still prefer Celia Imrie's work as an actress. This will not stop me reading her future writ
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this after having finished Celia Imrie’s other two books “Not Quite Nice” and “Nice a Work if you can get it” so was looking for something light and frothy with a good mix of characters and an interesting, involved storyline. It did not disappoint and made me think about cruises as a way of travel: to fill in time and provide work, bed and board as in this story. I also liked the “Mrs Malaprop” character Miryam and wonderful oleaginous male baddie who was beautifully drawn. The ...more
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Celia Imrie is an English actress.

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