Culture Street

Books

The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

On March 3, 2014

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By Sophia Whitfield

Over the last few years erotic fiction has brazenly graced the hands of many women reading on their daily commute. Fifty Shades of Grey sparked a new trend in fiction, but now even literary fiction is diving into the depths of erotica.

Walsh’s latest novel shines the spotlight on a forbidden love affair. Set during the heat of a summer holiday in Mallorca, lust and desire drip off every.

Jenn is a 45-year-old stepmother, who has for years been holiday with her academic husband on the island of Mallorca. She is dreading the arrival of her 15-year-old stepdaughter, Emma, who will undoubtedly disrupt the peaceful tranquility of her holiday with Greg.

Emma’s manifestation into a young woman has been an uneasy blow to both Greg and Jenn. While Greg is struggling to come to terms with it, Jenn has to deal with Emma’s rejection of her, despite the fact that she has mothered Emma since she was a baby.

When Emma arrives with her boyfriend Nathan, the young man’s presence throws everyone’s holiday into chaos. Jenn’s infatuation with Nathan leads her to examine her own body and the ravages that time has dealt on her physical appearance. Her desire for Nathan’s youth and physical perfection threatens to unravel all the things she has previously held dear.

Under the lemon grove a story is played out of a family lost, unable to discuss the truth behind their calm exteriors. A young self assured Nathan arrives into this fractured environment, full of bravado. He asserts his opinions and his physical presence on them all. Jenn will have to tread carefully if she is to save the things she most treasures.

This tightly woven story is hard to put down. Full of illicit love it asks the question; beauty and age – is there such a thing? Can we age gracefully or is it simply a myth?

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