The Lemon Grove, Hardback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Each summer, Jenn and her husband Greg return to Deia, on Mallorca's dramatic west coast. This year the arrival of Emma, Jenn's stepdaughter, 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. What follows is a highly-charged liaison that puts lives and relationships in jeopardy. For Jenn, after this summer, nothing can ever be the same.




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This book has received very mixed reviews, I expect because of the fairly distasteful story and the thoroughly unlikeable characters. Having said that, I enjoyed reading it.Jenn and her husband, Greg, holiday every year in a villa in Deia, Mallorca. This year is different though. They've gone at the height of the season and are to be joined for the second week by Greg's 15 year daughter, Emma and her 17 year old boyfriend, Nathan. Jenn finds herself dangerously drawn to Nathan with shocking results.I read this during some very hot weather and could almost imagine I was on holiday myself from the descriptions in the book - it sizzled in more ways than one! It's a heady, intense and claustrophobic story, yet easy to read and I found myself turning the pages very quickly as the story headed towards an inevitable meltdown. Great read but maybe not for everybody.Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.,

Review by
"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."

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