Author: Joanna Trollope
Genre: Adult Fiction
Reviewed by: Michelle
This books starts off set in Spain with a husband and wife Monica and Gus originally from England but moved to Spain with their young family to live in a beautifully described home on a vineyard that is Gus’s pride and joy. Monica has a little shop on the vineyard too that sells the award winning wine they produce. Gus is portrayed as a grumpy man set in his ways and his wife goes along with his life there. Pilar and some of her family are also part of the story they are housekeepers for Monica and Gus.
Monica and Gus have three grown up children who have all got children of their own and all have settled in England. These three children and their families become a big part of the story.
There is Jake, Bella and Mouse. Jake is Monica’s and Gus’s youngest son, Bella his wife and Mouse their child. Sebastian, Anna, Dermot and Marcus. Sebastian is Monica and Gus’s son, Anna his wife and the two boys their children.Katie, Nic, Daisy, Marta and Florence. Katie is Monica and Gus’s daughter, Nic her partner and their kids.
The family are not all that close to each other when Gus suffers a stroke. On hearing this his children fly to Spain to see their dad and support their mum. They are told that Gus should make a full recovery or at the very least a good recovery. The children feel guilt that they cannot up and leave there lives in England and move to Spain to help their parents and truth is that they don’t want to either. When Gus is in hospital he tries to ask Sebastian would he stay and help him but his speech is very unclear and while Sebastian knows what his father is trying to ask he confides in Katie that he just cannot do it. His marriage is not that strong and his wife is the boss and he cannot leave England and their cleaning company. Katie has a high power job too that she feels she cannot leave and realises down the road that one of her daughters is troubled and has been cutting herself and this becomes her priority. Jake the youngest son steps up and even though his wife Anna is not really keen decides to leave his life in England and come and take over the vineyard but he is keeping his own secrets as to why he is so willing to do this which later comes to life. Jake thinks that he can fully take over the business but his dad makes a good recovery and is able to continue working, he does realise however that he will need help and asks Sebastian to help him not Jake. Sebastian stands up to his wife and helps his father and makes Jake agree to working as a salesman for the vineyard and paying off his debts.
Katie and her mothers relationship that was once strained gets a lot better and Monica stands up to Gus and decides she wants to live some of the time in England with her daughter and some of the time in Spain with Gus.
I found this book a very easy read. I loved the way the author was so descriptive of Spain and it really made you feel like you were there or gave you a really clear picture of what it would be like to live in Spain on a vineyard. I enjoyed the different stories about each of the children’s lives and that in the end no matter what had gone on they were all their for each other as a family even though when it happened first they were all concerned as to how they would manage. I taught it was nice to think that something as awful as a stroke in the long run changed each of their lives for the better making each of them happier.
I would recommend this book to others if you just want to escape and read something not to taxing and with a nice outcome.