Lily Graham returns to the blog today with a lovely story about healing, family and new hope. Please read on for my review of
The Island Villa
Charlotte has lost the love of her life, her husband James, and can’t seem to find a way out of her grief. Of course her family is trying to motivate her to see the next day: she’s not particularly interested, even as she’s past due on her latest book contract, and can’t seem to write a word. Her days are spent carrying (and chatting with) James, his urn being a constant companion. But a surprise from James comes from out of the blue: purchasing her grandmother’s cottage on the island of Formentera (off the Spanish coast, next to Ibiza), and Charlotte feels duty-bound to investigate the cottage and his reasons. Because, you see, James always knew what could (and would) motivate Charlotte.
Arriving on the little isolated island to the small cottage named Marisal, Charlotte has few plans to do more than spend an allotted week in the warmth, before returning to her life in Sussex. But, James had other plans: leaving her a letter in care of the estate agent, with a link to her family, a great aunt, still on the island. Here is where the story becomes a must-read: Formentera was at the epicenter of the salt trade, many families relied on the salt mining and sale to make ends meet – with a dash of subsistence farming and fishing providing an existence to the very isolated and insular islanders. Charlotte and her brother only ever had the barest of stories about Formentera from their grandmother Alba, who left the island, she said, after the Spanish civil war. But, Alba had a sister left behind, a sister with the family story and history, and several revelations (and a quasi-explanation) as to Alba’s close-lipped unwillingness to share much about her life or the island.
Slowly, almost without realizing it, as Charlotte cleans and rehabs the cottage, meeting locals and learning of her family from her great aunt, little moments of sunshine and healing start to lighten her burden of grief: James did know how to help her find a way to live and move forward without him. A lovely story liberally sprinkled with history and hope from the past, giving Charlotte new insight into her own life and family traditions while providing her with a space that is open to possibilities, potential and light.
Title: The Island Villa
Author: Lily Graham
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Historic Elements, Setting: Spain
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 29 June, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ IndieBound
A story of two sisters, living in a time of fear and betrayal, and rumours of a stranger on the island.
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?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.