Sunday, 4 November 2012

Books Read: Michelle Jackson - 5 Peppermint Grove

Emigration, emigration, emigration . . . Ruth Travers is leaving Ireland like so many of the Irish Diaspora who have gone before her. But, instead of a coffin ship, she's travelling business class on a Boeing 777 and will be landing in sunny Perth, Western Australia. 

Leaving behind her married boyfriend of ten years, Ruth hopes to make a fresh start. Her mother Angela, who lived in Perth in the seventies, is distraught when she hears that Ruth is Australia bound. It is only when Ruth discovers a sealed airmail envelope, with 5 Peppermint Grove, Perth, scrawled across it in her mother's handwriting, that she wonders what else Angela may be hiding. 

Her best friend Julia Perrin gently orchestrated the move to Perth for her friend s own good. She is a successful businesswoman with her own travel company and so busy fixing everybody else's life she sees no need to do so with her own . . . until she visits Ruth in Perth! 

Sunshine, sandy beaches and barbeques abound but there may be more than Angela s secret waiting for them in Peppermint Grove . . .

Michelle Jackson is another one of the Irish authors that I discovered a few years ago and since then I've read most of her books, just one more to read, 4am in Las Vegas, which I bought earlier in the summer.

One of the things I love about Michelle's books are the destinations that she's taken us to, her first book was set in Havana, the next Biarritz, the next couple were both the US, New York and Las Vegas, and now 5 Peppermint Grove takes us to Perth, Australia.    

Julia and Ruth have been best friends for years and are inseperable but Julia knows that Ruth needs a fresh start to make her finally realise that her ten year relationship with her married boyfriend is going nowhere.  So when she hears of a job going she suggests that Ruth apply for it even if it means that she'll be moving half way across the world to Australia if she gets it, which of course she does.

Ruth had always known that her parents had spent some time in Perth but they'd returned to Ireland before she was born so when she lands the job she sees it as fate, a chance for her to see the place where they lived for herself as they never really talk about their time in Australia.  Whilst in her parents attic she discovers an unopened letter addressed to a man in 5 Peppermint Grove, Perth which is a bit of mystery, why is it there and who is the man? 

Before long Ruth is settling well into her new life in Australia, she's enjoying her job, making new friends and spends most of free time exploring the area that she's now living in.  The only thing missing for her is her friends and family back home but soon she's welcoming them for a visit.

During Julia's stay they decide to take a drive to see Peppermint Grove for themselves but sadly when they arrive at number 5 they discover that the house has been demolished so it's unlikely that they'll ever discover the truth about the mysterious previous occupant of the house and his link to Ruth's parents.  So it's a surprise for Ruth when her mother suddenly announces that she's coming out for a visit, will the mystery finally be solved?

Personally I think this is my favourite out of Michelle's books that I've read so far as it had a little bit of everything in it, an interesting mix of characters, stunning location, family dramas, great friendships, new romances, as well as a bit of intrigue.

I'd like to thank Michelle and her publisher Poolbeg for sending me a copy of 5 Peppermint Grove to review.  I'm hoping to finally get around to reading 4am in Las Vegas over the Christmas and New Year period and will then have to wait until next year for the release of Michelle's next book.

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