Book Review: The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

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...
Each summer, Jenn and her husband Greg return to Deia, on Mallorca's dramatic west coast. This year, the arrival of Emma, Jenn's step-daughter 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.
This book is tense with a capital 'T', Helen Walsh begins building the tension from the very beginning and simply does not let up. The front cover of this book is stunning but don't be fooled by the blurb; it could come across as a bit of a beach romp but it is far more complex than your average holiday bonk buster.
Jenn and Greg holiday each year on the beautiful west coast of Mallorca, this year is going to be different as Jenn's fifteen year old step-daughter is bringing along her new boyfriend, 17 year old Nathan. Emma and Nathan's arrival awakens several different feelings in Jenn; a resentment of Greg; a sadness over what life could have been, tensions and deep-rooted issues with her step-daughter and more importantly, a deep desire for Nathan which she is unable to ignore.
The tension between Jenn and Nathan is immediately palpable. Helen Walsh is so good at building up the little details, a glance here, a touch on the arm there; it all builds up to several very passionate encounters. The author is quite explicit in her descriptions of Jenn and Nathan, she shows the carnal need of both of them but then we learn of Jenn's feelings about it; how she feels about being the older woman; how she views her body and these new feelings that have possessed her.
The Lemon Grove can be quite an uncomfortable read at times but I don't think Helen Walsh had any intention of putting her readers at ease. I can't say that I particularly liked any of the characters; they all seemed incredibly selfish in their own ways.
This is the first book that I have read by Helen Walsh, I found it riveting and would highly recommend The Lemon Grove.

Publisher: Tinder Press
Pages: 275

Many thanks to Georgina for sending me a review copy of this book, it is out now. 


Katie Albury said...

This book sounds really good, I've made a note of it to suggest it to my book club.
Katie x

Dot said...

Thanks Katie, hope you enjoy it xx

Nadia A said...

This book sounds like a delicious read. I received it from NetGalley awhile ago, but have yet to get to it. I'm thinking I need to bump it up in my TBR queue.

Annecdotist said...

Great review, Dot. I also enjoyed this novel, and was really impressed with how she wolf the different strands together into the grand finale!
I also have Station Eleven on my TBR pile, so look forward to seeing what we both make of it

Dot said...

Thanks Anne, I've nearly finished Station Eleven, it was quite a different read for me but I have enjoyed it, hope you do too!

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