One of my favorite things to do each year as winter approaches is to get cozy with Shirley Conran’s LACE, whether in a book form or as a spectacular miniseries on TV. It doesn’t really matter which avenue I choose, just as long as I get the high I need to go on with my fabulous life (did I tell you that I got hitched last October?! No? Well, I did and I’m super buzzed about it). Call me crazy, but the minute I heard that Joanna Rees’ latest was going to be called THE GIRL FROM LACE ISLAND (Pan Macmillan) I knew that we would connect, the novel and I. OK, the author has already proven her worth with titles such as A TWIST OF FATE and THE KEY TO IT ALL (not to mention her pseudonym’s) but it barely takes away the fact that I was positive that with the word Lace, the novel would turn out to be an enjoyable ride. How right I was.
Roughly THE GIRL FROM LACE ISLAND tells the story of two distinct women, decades apart, who meet years later under strenuous circumstances. First we have Leila, who at the tender age of 15 in 1989 is whisked away from her cherished island to a posh English boarding school where she is used and abused to say the least. Upon her return she soon discovers that something odd is going on. Her mother has become strangely distant. So has her stepdad. And among the wealthy guests who flock the retreat are those seedy types who act as if they own the island. But do they really? She is about to find out.
Then we have Jess. It is 2016, and this twenty-something beauty, who’s had a real hard time in life, wants to make something of herself by becoming a flight attendant. There up in the sky is where she meets Blaise, a charismatic, sexy, rich gent who is everything she desires in a man. When the two lovebirds decide to get married, our little airline stewardess suddenly gets cold feet, and with good reasons. Two worlds are about to collide: hers and Leila’s.
Set around the globe but mostly in this fictitious treasure of an island near India, THE GIRL FROM LACE ISLAND brings you everything you need in a beach read: love, romance, adventure, glitz… Her two central characters are likeable ones who go out of their ways to grab some form of happiness. The author definitely has a knack for keeping the reader entranced as we follow their struggles and situations to a satisfying conclusion. Some scenes are probably harder to digest than others on account of their violent ways but overall this is a fun and compelling read you’ll want to add to your own library.
Thanks to Pan MacMillan for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Until next post—Martin