Under the scorching French sun, a tense homecoming unearths a long-buried family secret in this deliciously propulsive beach read of a mother’s greatest fear brought to life.
Elodie was beautiful. Elodie was smart. Elodie was manipulative. Elodie is dead.
When Sylvie Durand receives a letter calling her back to her crumbling family home in the South of France, she knows she has to go. In the middle of a sweltering 1990’s summer marked by unusual fires across the countryside, she returns to La Reverie with her youngest daughter Emma in tow, ignoring the deep sense of dread she feels for this place she’s long tried to forget.
As memories of the events that shattered their family a decade earlier threaten to come to the surface, Sylvie struggles to shield Emma from the truth of what really happened all those years ago. In every corner of the house, Sylvie can’t escape the specter of Elodie, her first child. Elodie, born amid the ’68 Paris riots with one blue eye and one brown, and mysteriously dead by fourteen. Elodie, who reminded the small village of one those Manson girls. Elodie who knew exactly how to get what she wanted. As the fires creep towards the villa, it’s clear to Sylvie that something isn’t quite right at La Reverie… And there is a much greater threat closer to home.
Thank you to Michael Joseph and Penguin UK for a digital review copy – my thoughts are my own.
This is my second visit to Provence, France via a book in the past 6 weeks. My last visit involved fields of lavender and new friendships in Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman. Kate Riordan transported me to a very different Provence, full of secrets, mother/daughter relationships, heat and forest fires.
This was a book I didn’t want to put down. So many secrets slowly being fed to the reader about Sylvie, her dead daughter Elodie and why the younger daughter Emma hadn’t been told the full story about her older sister.
Sylvie and her family have stayed away from the house for 10 years since there was an incident. Now Sylvie and Emma return, and slowly the story is fed to the reader, with lots of twists and turns along the way. The story moves backwards and forwards in time throughout the book and we start to see how the past impacts the actions and events happening now.
The end of the book is fast and tense – I’m sure I was holding my breath whilst reading. It is difficult to say much more without giving spoilers. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and didn’t want it to end.
Being published in ebook 23rd April 2020.
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