Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
beach reading
starry skies to read under
reading in nature
  • Location: Dorset, Sardinia, "Deriu"

The Little Theatre By The Sea

The Little Theatre By The Sea

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Fancy a holiday to Deriu to restore an old theatre by the sea?

  • ISBN: 978-1784292102
  • Genre: Fiction, Romance

What you need to know before your trail

Faye has just completed her degree in interior design when she finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less. While debating what to do next she receives a surprise phone call from her old college friend Charlotte who now lives in Sardinia and is married to Italian hotelier, Fabio.

When Charlotte suggests that Faye relocate for a month to house-sit, Faye wonders if a summer break in sunny Sardinia might be the perfect way to recharge her batteries and think about her future. But then Charlotte tells Faye that there’s something more behind the sudden invitation: her friends Marisa and Alessandro are looking for a designer to renovate a crumbling old theatre they own in the scenic village of Deriu. The idea certainly sounds appealing to Faye, but little does she know what she’s letting herself in for if she accepts this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . .

Travel Guide

West Dorset

Faye leaves the shores of sunny Dorset which holds both memories and pain from her past to head over to another set of problems in Sardinia.


The theatre by the sea, the blue waters, the hot and humid streets, the wonderful aroma of the jasmine flowers. Deriu seems like a wonderful place to rest and relax – just a shame it’s fictional. Even if you like Faye are going to be involved with restoring a theatre. A theatre with a great deal of history not just in time but in the heart of the community where it is located. The village of Deriu is filled with crumbling old white washed pastel homes, hot sandy roads where goats poach on the edge of the cliffs, and the waves fizz into retreat”

“Our island has always been a target for pirates and marauders”

The world of the Italian theatre

The author was very keen to write about the landscape of the Italian theatres. She read many books to find out about their role in the communities over the years and their unique hold on the Sardinian mindset. In the novel the theatre at the centre of the story is a proud feature of the city, each brick, each stone imbued with history, grief, sweet and tears. There is a pride at the heart of this theatre as it seems to represent the heart of the community and the pride of the people. Ownership of this theatre is therefore a very serious and historical matter.

The role of the theatre has been vital over the years many famous people and locals have tread the boards so its disrepair is sad on many levels. But the white washed walls hide the faded glamour of days gone by and the historical secrets hidden within.

The  Italian food!

Rosanna is a foodie to rival Mary Berry with her descriptions in her novels and this is no exception.  The pasta and wine, the aroma of the olives and the fresh fragrance and aromas of the sea, the sunlight on your skin…… paradise. A fisherman catches bream and snapper. Even the Maquis which the goats eat sounds exotic! (Macchia is a biome in the Mediterranean region)


Streetview Maps

C) Sardinia - Olbia
D) Sardinia - "Deriu"

Booktrailer Review

Susan @thebooktrailer

You really can’t beat a Rosanna Ley book for utterly transporting you to a new time and place – this time right in the heart of the small seaside theatre world of Sardinia. This was no ordinary theatre – it was in desperate need of repair and restoration but when Faye is invited to come and take on the project, she comes as an outsider and outsiders here, when they are dealing with the building and history which is at the heart of a tight knit community, are not going to be welcome. This atmosphere creates the mystery and intrigue which set the stage as it were for the rest of the novel. This is a very evocative and emotional read – the world of the theatre is brought to life with flourish and abandon. Despite the need of restoration, you could still smell the greasepaint and sense the ghosts of the past on the stage.

Despite the historical chill of the theatre, I could sense the feel and the warmth of the outside village. The aromas of the flowers growing at the road side, the heat of the sun on the white washed houses…..Faye enjoyed this but it soon contrasted to the underlying chilly mystery of the theatre. Her getting to the truth isn’t easy but it’s a trail that mixes her destiny into the heart of Deriu and its people. Some of them are wary of outsiders, and as Faye integrates herself more into the village and the theatre, secrets are revealed and Faye becomes a lot more aware of what her role in Deriu really is. I loved reading this reveal – there was a lot of interweaving themes and conflicting emotions of various characters and it was a treat to unravel. Ooh and Alessandro was a nice character. A man of mystery if ever there was one.

There’s so much to this novel – escapism and a real dose of faded glamour. The locations of Dorset and Sardinia come alive with every sense – the heat of the sun, the aroma of the flowers and the taste of the Sardinian delicacies. Feel the sea breeze on your hair as you read too. Sunshine radiated from this book on every page!

Rosanna’s books really should have warnings on them to stock up on Sardinian food and drink before you read it as this is packed with juicy bites of local delicacies too to make your mouth water if the scenery and the idea of being in an old historical theatre doesn’t fill you.

Highly recommended.  Escapist fiction at its theatrical best.


Booktrail Boarding Pass: The Little Theatre by the Sea

Author/Guide: Rosanna Ley Destination: Dorset, Sardinia Departure Time: 2000s

Back to Results

Featured Book

Whoever You Are, Honey

2024: On the Santa Cruz waterfront, every house is as perfect as the people inside, right?

Read more