Phil: In the book tsunami from my writing friend is a new title – The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanagan.
I can guess why she picked it. The front shows a sunny villa and the back cover talks about “the enchanting Villa Naranja in Spain”. This is sun-lounger reading in every respect. Opening it in winter is going to make you want to jump on a ‘plane for a bit of sunshine.
The story revolves around Juno Ryan, an Irish radiologist who discovers that her boyfriend is married. Worse, she finds out he’s married when he’s killed in an earthquake. Along with his wife and child.
For obvious reasons, this upsets her and she ends up taking up the offer of a few months unpaid holiday at a villa in Spain.
There is a pool, complete with Greek God style poll cleaners. Regular chick-lit readers won’t be surprised what happens there. It is not the end of the story though.
In fact, the book splits reasonably nicely into three parts and getting it on with the pool boy is in the early stages. After that, things progress and you see Juno start to recover and grow as a person. She conquers some of the demons that hold her back thanks to her family as well as those caused by her relationship with a married man who lied to her.
The story is deeper and far more involved than most sunlounger fiction. It’s light enough to be pleasant, especially the running cat story arc, but involving enough that you are pleased you are reading it. The ending isn’t quite what you’d expect from the first half of the book.
Summing up, the book is better than the cover would suggest. You can enjoy this while covered in suntan lotion, but it’s just as good while supping a warming cup of tea in the rain.