It’s such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog blitz for The Island Villa by Lily Graham today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.
Author : Lily Graham
Title : The Island Villa
Pages : 285
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 29, 2018
When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish island of Formentera.
As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.
Can the heartbreaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?
Widowed at the young age of forty-five, Charlotte would like nothing else but to hide under her duvet and sleep the days away. But her husband has left her a surprise in the form of a villa on the Spanish Island of Formentera that used to belong to Charlotte’s grandmother. Arriving on the island, Charlotte soon discovers her grandmother has kept a large part of her life secret.
I do so adore a dual timeline in an historical fiction story and this one is done brilliantly. Parts of the story are set in the present day with Charlotte trying to put the pieces of her shattered life together, while discovering things about her family she never knew. Other parts of the story are set in the late 1700’s. These are centred around two sisters, Cesca and Esperanza. Sometimes I find myself being more engrossed by one of the timelines but in this case, both held my attention throughout.
I don’t want to give too much away about the plot but it deals with a part of history I knew nothing about and the author does a fabulous job of combining fact and fiction, turning it into a moving, evocative and thought-provoking story. Combine that with tales of the hardship that is island life, the struggles the sisters faced back in the day and Charlotte trying to find her feet after such a devastating loss and I soon found myself completely engrossed.
With vivid descriptions, the island of Formentara soon captured my heart, as did the characters. Charlotte is most definitely someone to sympathise with and root for and the characters she meets on the island are equally likeable in their own ways. This is a truly wonderfully immersive and enchanting story about family, love, loss and secrets and its idyllic setting makes this the perfect summer read.
The Island Villa is available to buy!
Lily grew up in dusty Johannesburg, which gave her a longing for the sea that has never quite gone away; so much so that sometimes she’ll find sand grouting the teaspoons, and an ocean in a teacup. She lives now in the English countryside with her husband and her sweet, slobbering bulldog Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.
Author link : Twitter