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Book Giveaway: Lemon Grove

(40 Posts)
TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Jun-14 10:55:27

Our second giveaway this week is Helen Walsh's new novel Lemon Grove.

Each summer, Jenn and her husband Greg return to Deia, on Mallorca's dramatic west coast. This year the arrival of Emma, Jenn's stepdaughter, and her new boyfriend Nathan threatens to upset their equilibrium. Beautiful and reckless, Nathan stirs something unexpected in Jenn.

As she is increasingly seduced by Nathan's youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession begins to blur. What follows is a highly-charged liaison that puts lives and relationships in jeopardy. For Jenn, after this summer, nothing can ever be the same.

Reviews for The Lemon Grove
‘Extraordinarily, electrifyingly good, you will read it and then instantly give it to your best friend to read.’ Lisa Jewell
‘Walsh magnificently racks the tension up, notch by excruciating notch as the emotions in the villa reach fever pitch’. Independent
‘The Lemon Grove is fraught, highly-charged and very sexy, as well as being an intelligent take on raising other people’s children, and it should be at the top of your summer reading list.’ Stylist
‘It’s a very rare occurrence that I read a book whose prose is quite so poetic, whose plot is quite so compelling, that the second I finish it I want to re-read it all over again. This happened with The Lemon Grove.’ The Unlikely Bookworm

Click here to apply for one of the 50 copies that we have to giveaway.

If you're lucky enough to receive a copy of Lemon Grove, please remember to post your thoughts about the book on this thread or write a review here.

This book giveaway is sponsored by Headline PR

lottietiger Tue 23-Sep-14 22:28:33

Sorry, I forgot this book when I went away so I was running behind with it. I read this book in super quick time and it's one I wished I had put in my case as it's an easy holiday read. I thought it was ok, not as damning as some of the other reports. I thought parts were enjoyable but the way the sex scenes were written didn't seem to fit with the style of writing elsewhere in the book. I was very disappointed with the ending, it just seemed to fizzle out. It felt it was aimed somewhere between teenage and adult fiction as the characters weren't in depth enough to be adult but it was too graphic in parts to be teenage. All in all I quite enjoyed it but it was forgettable.

Quejica Tue 23-Sep-14 18:35:53

I was selected to receive this book but it never arrived.

Having read the other reviews perhaps I shouldn't be disappointed!

clevernickname Tue 23-Sep-14 09:37:03

Maybe this would work better as a film?

clevernickname Tue 23-Sep-14 09:36:27

Apologies for the delayed review - I do appreciate the free book MN!
I concur with much of what has been written above about the characters being unlikeable and the ending a bit flat. The situational plotting was just about compelling enough to apply the term page turner and the theme of sexual jealousy between generations when teenagers come of age is interesting and worth exploring. I sympathised with the main character but couldn't quite suspend disbelief enough to care about the relationships in the book.

kateandme Tue 09-Sep-14 21:37:22

i do like books of this genre because it does happen,things like this happen and people cross some very strict line of 'no goes' the writing is quite abrasive at times but i do think this goes with the subject in hand.this is a raw subject and though many might not be able to relate to it completely i think that its still so interesting to see the waht ifs in the world.
it especially highlights for me what low self esteem of someone can push them to do or feel like.and then what they seek and how thye go about it.
i thinik id have liked the book to have explored these feeling and the characters so i could relate to them because i didnt care for any of them much to be able to see there side of the storys.
i didnt love it but didnt hate it either and will still look out for the authors other titles in the future.

Kathy121 Tue 09-Sep-14 17:32:43

Like a lot of people on genre I thought the description of the scenery was lovely. The rest I was very disappointed considering the lovely title. Characters are very weak. Didn't like the age the boy was supposed to be in the story. It is certainly not one I would recommend to anyone.

sherryjerry Tue 09-Sep-14 16:21:52

I enjoyed this book, it arrived a month before I was visiting Majorca on holiday. I found it a little bit tenuous as times and don't think I would recommend it to my mother in law but it was fun to read. Thank you for sending it to me.

milliemoon Sun 17-Aug-14 18:13:24

I finished reading the book today. I did enjoy reading the book on the whole but found the language at times to be very crude particularly in regards to the main character during the sex scenes. Maybe it was intentional by the writer to demonstrate jenn's low self esteem but I did find it a bit unnecessary at times. Certainly won't be lending it to my nan! There was quite a tense underlying feel to the story, quite dark at times but the writer captured the holiday atmosphere and described the setting very well. Some parts I found a bit hard to follow and found myself flicking back to see if I'd misread something. Found all of the characters unlikeable but maybe this is the point? Overall, an ok read but not my favourite.

ScarlettDarling Thu 07-Aug-14 09:15:13

Sorry for long delay in posting this review, I took this book on holiday and have only just got back.

I had been so looking forward to reading The lemon Grove, and I flew through it in only one day by the pool, but honestly...I didn't really enjoy it. I just couldn't bring myself to like any of the main characters. The woman in her mid forties being obsessed with a 17 year old boy was just ick, and I couldn't empathise with her at all. The 17 year old boy confident enough to pursue the 40 year old stepmother of his girlfriend...unbelievable. The parents who allow their 15 year old daughter to go on holiday with her boyfriend...not something I'd do! The sex scenes were crude and I ended up just skimming over them. The ending to me just seemed a bit of a cop out.

Having said all of that, this book isn't dreadful. I certainly wouldn't have stopped reading and given up halfway through. The setting is beautifully described and makes it perfect for a holiday read. You are definitely left wondering what happens to the characters, infact I was slightly disappointed that it ended when it did.

I left this book in the hotel 'library' and a couple of days later saw another woman reading it by the pool. Hope she enjoyed it more than I did!

Many thanks for the book.

mrshuggybear Sun 03-Aug-14 20:43:04

I know this is fiction but I found this book totally unbelievable. It was little more than a modern Mills and Boon book and I have only read one of them as they are so bad. I felt really frustrated that I wasted my time, thanks to mumsnet though for the fact I didn't waste money also. I really hoped for so much more but the characters had no depth, I just didn't care about them. I read it in a matter of days so yes it was an easy read, if that can be a positive.

Southeastdweller Sun 03-Aug-14 15:02:40

Pretty good, enjoyed it more than I expected. It was exciting in parts and I really liked the ending which I found very believable and satisfying. She evokes the setting well as most people have said. Some of the writing was weird - the repetiton of 'crone' and 'he' and 'she', and who says the word 'gay' to mean happy these days? The book could easily have gone for another 50 pages or so without losing any of it's pace by exploring the Jenn character more and her motivation for doing what she did. All in all, as a quick and absorbing beach read I'd recommend it.

Although I was very grateful for the freebie, (thanks, MN!), and I'm sure that for many this was a "sultry, sexy & intense" read but it wasn't my cup of tea.

I was so disappointed that I couldn't connect with this book; I was left feeling mainly uncomfortable reading this.

The Lemon Grove is mostly well written and I have not been put off from trying another Helen Walsh novel. But I felt utterly disgusted with Jenn and her actions were completely revolting to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude, but I think if Jenn's object of obsession was maybe a few years older, I could have coped better. As it was, it was not pleasant reading for me, certainly not sexy. It left me wondering, if it were a man in his forties lusting after a 17 year old girl, would we find that sexy, sultry reading? Doubtful.

None of the characters had anything appealing or endearing about them, so it was difficult to warm to the story. I did stick it out, out of curiosity to the outcome as much as anything. But having just finished I'm left feeling a little puzzled as to what actually happened at the end. Maybe that's just me not being able to fully engage with the characters, however.

Over all I wouldn't recommend this book. Too smutty in places and lack of character appeal left me feeling a bit uncomfortable generally throughout."

susanterblanche Tue 29-Jul-14 13:16:45

I finished the book, but must admit its not my favourite and I am not sure if I would recommend it. Didn't really connect with any of the characters and found the story line a bit unbelievable in the context of the book.

Southeastdweller Tue 29-Jul-14 08:24:47

I dropped off the thread so posting to come back on. Started it today and quite liking it so far.

lottietiger Mon 28-Jul-14 20:54:31

Still not managed to read this but it's next in my pilesmile will report back soon

Kiwirose Mon 28-Jul-14 20:17:04

I took this book on holiday and read it very quickly as the others have said. I think it is a perfect holiday book. Easy to read and not too taxing, which is what I want from that kind of thing. I agree it would be sort sort of book I would leave for someone else to read too.

If you are looking for complex characters or a more intellectual book then this isn't for you. I mean really - with your daughter's boyfriend, in your own villa, in the space of one week???? And I totally agree that there is a lot more that could have been expanded upon in terms of characters, both the main 4 and the others, such as the lemon grove owner. but then I guess it wouldn't have been such an easy holiday read.

It is the literary equivalent to an storyline of Neighbours or Home and Away - but then again, sometimes all you want is a crappy soap opera to watch.

BIWI Fri 25-Jul-14 18:45:06

This is the first Helen Walsh book I've ever read. I certainly won't be bothering to waste my time or money on any more.

cheshiresmile54 Fri 25-Jul-14 18:42:51

Quick, easy read, but on the whole disappointing. Walsh spends more time on describing the landscapes than the characters, with the consequence that you really don’t get to know the four main people involved in the story. So the relationship between the mother and daughter’s boyfriend, for example, really doesn’t ring true.

I agree with other reviewers that there are quite a few plot ‘holes’ which meant I re-read bits to see if I’d missed something, but no, there are just gaps in explanation. The ending too was a disappointment, with so many questions left unanswered. Perhaps that’s exactly what Helen Walsh wanted for her ending. But for me, it just gave me another reason for not bothering to pass this book on to friends to read!

Helen Walsh fans out there – which book is her best? I’d like to compare this one with another one.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 22-Jul-14 11:02:28

Another one who did not enjoy this book

Some of the writing was very poor, cliched descriptions that didn't evoke any images, adjectives used in an odd way (agree with the above poster about the creative writing class & the thesaurus)

The sex was very poorly written. All if a sudden out if nowhere you'd get descriptions that are very crude, references to his dick, no attempt at sensuality or even lust.

The characters were poorly described, no insight as to their motivations & a lot of the plot was very vague.

The only bit that was vaguely excited was the beginning ofvthe search but then it jumped around & you never ended up knowing what really happened.

aftereight Mon 21-Jul-14 17:01:32

I enjoyed the book for what it is - a quick and easy summertime read. I wish I'd taken it on holiday alongside some the heavy fiction which I packed.

Positive points:
Well written, some really evocative descriptions.
Contemporary references
Well paced and just enough tension building to make it a page turner
Loved the cover presentation

Negative points:
The characters were 2 dimensional caricatures (trust fund hippy? pompous lecturer?)
The word 'crone' repeated over and over. It served as a good description with its first use, but then started to jarr as a shorthand for all old Spanish people.
The reference to "a slither of moon". Did this really slip the notice of the editor? The word 'sliver' was used later in the book to refer to something else. Pedantic, maybe, but this sort of thing draws my attention back to the book, rather than the story.
The final chapter could have been very foreboding, but instead didn't quite ramp up the suspense

I'll pass the book on to a friend now, who is off on holiday.. Thanks for giving me the chance to read it.

beachyhead Sat 19-Jul-14 22:44:44

God, this book was dire..... Just awful. It was the third book I read on a weeks holiday and I just skim read (with embarrassment) and left it in the hotel room......

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 19-Jul-14 22:32:06

Finished this today.

I found this a very odd book. It read like it was written by a man just out of an evening class in creative writing, flicking through his thesaurus.

I was amazed that the writer was actually a woman and not a man using a female nom de plume because the women in it were so poorly written and the feelings and emotions expressed just didn't ring true.

The characters were poorly drawn, the sex was badly written, and the plot was non-existent. So many cliches it was laughable.

Not one to pass on or re-read. This one is heading for the recycling bin.

cathisherwood Thu 17-Jul-14 09:08:53

I would leave this book behind in the hotel for others to read while on holiday but I wouldnt pass it on as a good read to friends as I think it was full of predictable characters - randy teenaged boy, sexually frustrated middleaged wife and sulky teenage daughter.
I enjoyed the descriptions of beautiful majorca. Wish I was there!

princessgray Thu 17-Jul-14 06:49:38

The Lemon Grove was easy to read and I read it quickly. It wasn't the kind of book I usually read and was glad to have the chance to read it. However, it wasn't as good as I was expecting. I didn't think the characters were particularly well drawn and their motivations weren't clear. I liked the setting, I've been to the monastery at Valdemossa and it is always nice to read about places you've been to. This book might appeal to some readers but I found it rather disappointing.

ricecakeaddict Wed 16-Jul-14 22:45:17

I was really pleased to receive this book as it's one I have considered buying on several occasions (although I have actually opted for a book which I thought sounded more original instead each time!)

While an ok read, I was left a little disappointed.

Good things:
- as above, the description of the setting is very evocative and really helped to set the scene
- the pace was good and the length of book right

Bad things:
- I just didn't like the characters! While I got a really good sense of the setting, I felt as if I didn't learn enough about the characters and this meant I didn't care for them or understand why they did things. It made the middle section of the book hard-going
- The content didn't feel unique and I'm not sure it's a book I'll remember

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