Book Review: The Lemon Grove

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

 The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh* is an adult fiction novel set in Mallorca. It follows Jenn who goes there on holiday with her husband every year. But this time something changes. Her stepdaughter, Emma, is coming along and she's bringing her boyfriend with her. Jenn starts to develop feelings towards 17 year old Nathan and they start to have a bit of an affair. I really don't know how I felt about this book. I loved it and I hated it. It wasn't a bad 'hate it', it was a 'these characters are all such crappy people' hate it.

The writing style of this book is so captivating. I literally could not put it down and I read it in a day. It's so descriptive, I really felt like I was on holiday whilst reading this book. But I feel like it makes out that it was ok for the affair to happen. I was reading some other reviews on GoodReads and I felt like someone else perfectly summed up how I felt about it by saying "If the main character of this book was male and went on to repeatedly sleep with a 17 year old girl would we regard this book so highly?" and the answer to that is no. No we wouldn't. I was expecting a really dramatic ending but it was actually so anticlimatic. I don't feel like either Jenn or Nathan really had to deal with the consequences of their actions. It's so wrong for Jenn to cheat on her husband, but with her stepdaughter's boyfriend?! Also I feel like I should point out that Emma doesn't actually know that Jenn isn't her mother, her biological mother died in childbirth and they never told her. So it's practically like sleeping with your actual daughter's boyfriend.

And lets talk about the character of Nathan. He's rude, arrogant and pushy. I cannot see what Emma, or Jenn for that matter, saw in him. And also, he's only supposed to be 17. Now I'm a 17 year old girl. I know a lot of 17 year old boys. And I don't know anyone that would behave like that. I couldn't imagine anyone I know starting up an affair with their girlfriend's mother.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. I think it's a good sign if an author can make you feel so many different emotions. I gave it 4/5 stars on GoodReads because I felt the ending really let the book down. I wanted some drama at the end and I didn't get that. This would be a great book to take on holiday with you.

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