The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

the lemon GSummary from Goodreads

Set on the rugged, mountainous west coast of Mallorca, this taut, sultry, brilliantly paced novel is a meditation on female desire, the vicissitudes of marriage, the allure of youth, and the politics of raising other peoples’ children.

The story takes place over one week in the heat of Deia, a coastal village on an island off the southeast coast of Spain. Jenn and Greg go for a break to enjoy languorous, hot afternoons by the pool. But the equilibrium is upset by the arrival of Greg’s daughter (Jenn’s step-daughter), Emma, and her boyfriend, Nathan. Jenn is in her early 40s, loves her husband and her daughter and she is content, to an extent. But when this beautiful, reckless young man comes into her life, she is driven by a sexual compulsion that she’s seldom felt since adolescence. The holiday progresses and her world is thrown into tumult as the lines blur between desire and obsession–it is not just the idea of sexual fulfillment that Jenn finds attractive but the suggestion of youth: by Nathan’s side, Jenn is young and carefree once again, and at this stage in her life, the promise of youth is every bit as seductive as the promise of passion. What follows is a highly charged narrative liaison that puts lives in jeopardy and percolates with just enough sexual tension to make it impossible to put down.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 19th 2014 by Tinder Press (first published January 1st 2014)

My Review

Oh my Goodness! The Lemon Grove is such a beautiful read! It’s sultry, sexy, shocking and even a little sickening! Helen Walsh is a glorious writer who transported me to the delightful streets of Deia, where the sun shines and the scandal lurks in darkened corners!

This read was a little piece of escapism for me. Walsh captures real lives with all their cracks and ugly secrets perfectly. She has managed to showcase people at completely different stages of their lives, with their wants, longings and desires. It’s interesting because the teens just want to be grown-up and the middle aged just want the wild abandon of their youth.

Main character Jenn is a free spirit, who’s been dimmed down by a long marriage and raising a child who isn’t hers. I don’t think she actually realises that she wants more until it’s standing right in-front of her and her need turns into an ache that won’t go away. Jenn loves her husband but craves something she really shouldn’t…can she resist the allure of her step-daughter’s beautiful boyfriend?

The ending….brilliant!

The Lemon Grove is a highly memorable, deeply intense and emotion filled read that I delighted in. When I had finished I immediately wanted to dive back in….then realised that it was a library book and couldn’t have it resting on my favourites shelf – the horror! I’ll be keen to pick up more works from Helen Walsh in the future!

4.5/5 Stars!

*I borrowed this book from the library*



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