Monday, 29 June 2015

Last Summer's hot poolside read had a distinctly citrus flavour...

Helen Walsh's The Lemon Grove should come with clear instructions for the reader....

#1 To be read only whilst laying by the pool/sea and only whilst the sun is shining

#2 Drink three Margaritas before you even turn the first page

#3 Pack at least a couple of other reads as this is a very short novel indeed

Adhere to these instructions and The Lemon Grove may just be the scorching hot summer holiday romp that the publicity promises - and there's nothing wrong with that.

Unfortunately, reading this (very short) novel in climes any cooler than Mediterranean and you're in for a less than sizzling read.

The story concerns a married couple holidaying in Majorca whose lives are turned upside down by the arrival of the couples' Daughter (actually the protagonist Jenn's step-daughter) and her bit of rough boyfriend Nathan. From the off Jenn is consumed by an obsession for Nathan that, whilst not totally far-fetched, is actually quite far fetched.

The novel careers towards an inevitable 'climax' that sees Jenn come face to face with the reality of an illicit affair and her own closest family relationships. 

Other than Jenn's carnal passions for Nathan, and her fondness for local craft markets, we learn little more about her which is one of the novel's weaknesses. More frustrating is the portrayal of the male characters. Greg, Jenn's Husband, is inexplicably boring and Nathan's supposed irresistible charm is essentially conjured as a sexy body and Northern accent. But perhaps this critique of sketchy characters and thin plots is actually missing the point?

The Lemon Grove will certainly deliver as a raunchy holiday poolside read and will probably be recommended and shared until the chilly Autumn!

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