Middle-aged woman has ill-advised (and uncomfortable sounding) sex with step-daughter's boyfriend. Feels bad about it but does it again. Visits the odd restaurant.
If you like your plots simple, this is the book for you. This is not a long book, but it still manages to be repetitive. The only saving grace is that it is not badly written and the sense of place (Mallorca) is well constructed. Helen Walsh is clearly an afficionado of the restaurants of Southern Spain and describes a mean ham.
The central character, Jenn is self-obsessed to the point of being ridiculous, her husband one-dimensional, the step-daughter barely has any character at all and the young adonis is about as interesting as plankton. Jenn's sun-induced mid-life crisis is given very little back-story and hence difficult to rationalise; if she is attractive enough to pull a 17 year old and horny enough to want to, surely she would have had other, less melodramatic options.
Worst of all is the (non) ending. This seems to be a new trend, that authors set up situations of mild peril and then just stop, presumably with the intention of allowing the reader to "nuance" their own denouement. I hate this. It's just lazy. Having ploughed through the bonking, shouldn't we be allowed the pay-off of funding out what happens to these annoying people? Or is Greg the bearded husband so poorly conceived and tiresome that even Walsh couldn't be bothered to document his reaction to the betrayal?
It was hard to decide which of the characters were being referred to at certain times. Eventually the prose becomes quite pornographic. half way through reading this story, I lost interest & abandoned the book. SORRY!
I'm not surprised this book divides opinion in such a radical way because of the subject matter. The one star reviews can be quite caustic in their criticism but I disagree with them and if there weren't so many excellent novels out there for it to compete with, would have given it five stars. I loved the book. There is some wonderful, poetic prose in this powerful story.The sex scenes were realistic yes, and the language straight forward (no euphemisms) but this, in my opinion, was refreshing. The book is written in present tense which gave it the urgency the plot demanded and like another reviewer here, I admired Helen Walsh for the way she ended the story, keeping the tension to the final word. I'll definitely seek out more of her novels.
It is easy to identify with the main characters in the begining. The book describes a typical summer holiday however then the latter part of the book lapses into the physical antics of the mother and boyfriend.
When I first spotted this book two summers ago, the cover lured me in, enticing me with thoughts of Pina Coladas and illicit affairs. I finally indulged my inner fantasist and picked this up, looking forward to a short 288 pages of wanton women and sexy times. I was in for a bit of a shock, but not in a good way.
The story takes a very long time to build, and when we finally get somewhere, I was left feeling underwhelmed. I struggled with this read, often wanting to put it down and forget about it, but ultimately trudging through it to see how it was going to end, and hoping for a grand finale that never came.
I got this after reading about it in Glamour a few months ago, and waited until it went on sale. The story is pretty obvious, and while I found it a bit on the vile side, I was still interested. The book is alarmingly short, as in 200 pages when the average book tends to be 350-400 pages long, but I can see why. The characters are annoying beyond belief and you actually want to climb into the fictional world to beat the main character senseless. She's a selfish, immoral, promiscuous tart, which is the best way I can put it, but then the writer has tried laying on 'but she's a nice person!!!!!' overly thick without realising that the damage is done so embrace it or abandon it. I found it fairly difficult to read because I couldn't handle the two-faced, bitchiness of it all and found it disgusting. Any woman who can sleep with her daughter's boyfriend has many, many, many, many serious issues, and this one is no exception. She tries to justify it with (spoiler alert) that she isn't the biological mother as though that somehow makes sleeping with barely legal teenagers and smoking pot with them more moral. I don't know, I'm bitterly disappointed in the book, not that I know what I fully expected.