The Lemon Grove

The Lemon Grove - Helen Walsh "Jenn and Greg have been married for fourteen years, and, as the book opens, they are enjoying the last week of their annual summer holiday in Deia, a village in Majorca off the coast of southern Spain. Their days are languorous, the time passing by in a haze of rioja-soaked lunches, hours at the beach, and lazy afternoon sex in their beautiful villa. It is the perfect summer idyll . . . until Greg's teenage daughter (Jenn's stepdaughter), Emma, arrives with her new boyfriend, Nathan, in tow."

I have always been a fan of Helen Walsh's bold writing, her raw and brutally honest novels about the darker side of life are unforgettable.

The Lemon Grove is more mainstream than her earlier works and should bring Walsh a wider readership.

The setting is exquisite and the reader is transported to Deia, with startling imagery and gorgeous evocative writing - it feels dreamlike, an illusion almost.

The author excels at exploring the emotions of emptiness and disillusionment that leads the main character to embark on such a self destructive path of a double betrayal.

The situation in Villa Ana sizzles with sexual tension and given the perspective the reader is a voyeur watching, uncomfortably, through their fingers.

"He is wearing a pair of plain blue swimming shorts, otherwise he is naked before her. He is muscular but graceful with it, balletic. He is shockingly pretty. She is aware of the seeming impropriety of registering these details – he is seventeen – and yet she cannot tear her eyes away."

and that ending....
"Usually I have an idea of how I want my readers to feel at the end of a novel before I start. I wanted this to feel a bit like a bruise."