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Scent of the Moonflowers Paperback – 25 Oct 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Vineyard Press (25 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930067968
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930067967
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,624,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Petronella Devaney was born in London, where she still lives and works. A novelist, poet and Jungian psychotherapist, she started writing professionally with the publication of The New Mother's Handbook in the early 1980s. Her first novel, Scent of the Moonflowers, published in 2012, is set in an artists' colony in the mountains of Mallorca, where she spent long summers with her writer husband during the 1970s and '80s. She is a founder member of The Acton Poets, whose first collection, Round Table, was recently published. She is currently working on her second novel.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Opus on 7 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A classic murder mystery with a twist, Scent of the Moonflowers ticks all the boxes - murder, intrigue, whodunnit, romance and sex (two very different things at times in this work), even a bit of comedy. Where Devaney truly excels is her painting of the island Santa Marta. Reading her description of the environment and people, you find yourself hating that such a place doesn't exist on the map nowadays. A gorgeous story, and a haunting read.
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Format: Paperback
On the surface, this book may present itself as a murder mystery but it's so much more and definitely more than the sum of its parts.

Set in a bohemian artists' colony in the mountains of Mallorca, the action takes place in 1973. Georgia and Peter Gael's marriage is on the verge of collapse when the brutal murder of a sixteen year old girl shakes the village of Santa Marta to its core. It's a concentrated and fast paced novel; the action taking place over a period of only a few days. Despite the grand scenic nature of the setting, there's a strange sense of claustrophobia. This is certainly life viewed from within a self-created bubble. The Santa Marta set are all artists of one sort or another, ranging from aspiring writers, through successful visual artists and sculptors, right up to the high powered film industry types embodied by Peter Gael himself. The bubble is reinforced by the fact that all of these people are running away to find paradise or have something to hide from it when they get there.

Petronella Devaney paints the Mallorcan landscape with a vividness that immediately draws you into the narrative. She also paints the spirit of the era with an accuracy that jolts. The levels of misogyny displayed by some of the male characters are an uncomfortable reminder of the dark side of a decade that is so often looked back on with fondness and nostalgia. On a lighter note, a dinner party going ahead because nobody could be reached to cancel by phone takes us back to a time before computers, email, texting and mobiles.

The murder not only catalyses the unravelling of Peter and Georgia's marriage but it also casts a harsh light on the web of deceptions binding their immediate social circle together.
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