Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Guest Book Review: Helen Walsh - The Lemon Grove

Reviewed by Sarah Brew

Each summer, Jenn and her husband Greg return to Deia, on Mallorca's dramatic west coast. This year the arrival of Emma, Jenn's stepdaughter, and her new boyfriend Nathan threatens to upset their equilibrium. Beautiful and reckless, Nathan stirs something unexpected in Jenn. As she is increasingly seduced by Nathan's youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession begins to blur. What follows is a highly-charged liaison that puts lives and relationships in jeopardy. For Jenn, after this summer, nothing can ever be the same.

Amazon links: Kindle or Hardback

Jenn and Greg’s peaceful and undemanding (and idyllic) holiday on the Spanish coast is thrown into turmoil with the arrival of Greg’s teenage daughter (Jenn’s stepdaughter), Emma, and her boyfriend, Nathan.

Just a week sees the story unfold – but a week that has the potential to throw an apparently stable and contented relationship into chaos. If anyone had asked Jenn, before the fateful holiday, if she was happy in her marriage she would have answered in the affirmative. But Emma’s boyfriend, a beautiful charismatic young man, makes Jenn feel young again. The sexual attraction is strong but no stronger than her compulsion to recapture the feeling of youth. As the week passes and the family share in all the typical holiday pursuits, tension builds and hooks the reader as you wonder just how this will be resolved. 

Many authors would have made the mistake of spinning out the action but by keeping this as a relatively brief novel I found my attention was held and I didn’t (as I often do) start urging the characters on to DO something. You may well however, like me, be willing them on not to take a destructive course – to tell you whether they succumb will, of course, spoil the story.

The characters and the family dynamic are explored in depth and I felt I really knew (but didn’t like) them by the end of the book. The evocative and vividly depicted setting is essential to the novel – the events would have seemed out of place in a gloomy British setting. Sensually written, but in a way that is insightful rather than purely sexual. It’s a compelling story which raises some interesting issues - a perfect holiday read.

I'd like to thank Georgina at Headline for sending me the book to review and Sarah for reviewing it for me.  

1 comment:

  1. I've had my eye on this for a while, it sounds so interesting and I love the cover. It sounds like the perfect holiday read, and one to consider for the summer! :) x