When Amie waves goodbye to Samantha as she leaves on her European journey she is quite content to stay at home while her elder sister sets off to explore the world – well maybe a little bit of it to start with. Amie has no great desire to travel, she enjoys her life in Castle Bridge.
Samantha is the adventurous one and she can't wait to spread her wings: meet new people and experience different cultures. Two weeks on the Costa Blanca is only the start of her planned epic journey with her long-suffering boyfriend, or possibly fiancé – depending on Sam's mood – trailing along behind.
But, if it can go wrong, it goes wrong – even before Sam and Gerry have left the airport – and their first trip abroad as a couple turns into a nightmare as one disaster follows another.
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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!