Review published on July 2, 2017.
Other books by Lucinda Riley that I have read have had a historical background or covered several generations, but this one has a narrower focus and a more recent setting. Most of the story is set in the summer of 2006 on a summer holiday in Cyprus. What it does have in common with her other books, however, is that it is a compelling read as Lucinda Riley is such a good storyteller.
Helena is the linchpin of her extended family, but she has kept secrets from her husband and her son, Alex, who does not know who his biological father is. Gradually, over the holiday, as old friends appear, the secrets come out and relationships are threatened.
I found it a very satisfying read as the author takes time to let you get to know the characters and the novel has more depth and tackles more complex issues than you get in the usual type of light holiday read. Another aspect that differentiates it from the more Chick lit type of book is that some of the story is told through 13-year-old Alex’s diary. I wasn’t completely convinced by this as it sometimes reads like Adrian Mole and sometimes he seems far too wise for his age, but it adds an interesting and amusing dimension.
So, not quite what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot and think it would make a good choice for reading groups.
Berwyn Peet 4/4
The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley
Pan 9781509824755 pbk Jul 2017