The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
'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.'
The Lemon Grove has been every where this year, since it was first released in hardback it has been doing the rounds on social media and been heavily pushed in newspapers, magazines and in book stores. So when I had the opportunity to read and review this I jumped at the chance.
Summer looks like it may have finally arrived in the U.K and that was perfect for me to take the opportunity to read this now.
Jenn and Greg visit Mallorca every year, they have been bringing their daughter Emma too, this year Jenn and Greg head out to the island early leaving Emma to arrive a week later, she brings her other half; her first proper boyfriend 17 year old Nathan with her.
When Nathan arrives he disrupts the dynamics of the family, Jenn is struggling to terms with coming to her age and is looking for escapism and a way to hold on and connect with her youth.
This story is about relationships in the family, mother and daughter, husband and wife. It is about secrets and betrayal and identifies how quickly these can escalate into something more. It also covers shifting in relationships of parents and their children.
Something I do have an issue with in this book is the 'act' of lust with Nathan, I feel this is a little unbelievable and that this seems in the book to be acceptable. Personally I don't know why Jenn would think her actions were acceptable and moral.
The way in which the story has been written has made it very hard to like and connect with any of the characters. I also found it very intense and at times graphic. I am not sure if this was the authors intentions to make you feel uncomfortable but if it was, she has achieved this with me.
The setting of the story was beautiful, having been to Mallorca myself I could picture the island well and enjoyed reading about it. This although a 'holiday' read, is not light and fluffy. It has dark themes and the subject matter is serious, if you are looking for something fun for the beach this is not for you.
The story itself is very short, I read in just two sittings, it is compulsive and I did want to get to the end to find out what was going to happen. This is where I felt a little let down by the book. I was expecting something major to happen and I feel I didn't get that, this left me feeling flat, and personally wanting a different ending.
I would recommend this as a different type of holiday read, it will keep you engaged and you will race to end.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this in exchange for an honest review.