I have been reading Hemmie Martin's books in chronological order and have enjoyed them all immensely, however Garlic and Gauloises is the best yet! I loved the diversity of the characters even if they weren't all that loveable themselves (lol) and how character driven the book was. The locations in the book were also so perfectly thought out as a back drop to the character's feelings and the retreat made me think of movies like Breakfast Club (but maybe that's just me). Now to the ending - Wow! It was such a twist, that bought tears to my eyes and I was genuinely surprised by my own reaction
Author Hemmie Martin’s writing style particularly stood out to me because it is expressed in a way that is far from feeling forced or unnatural. I can tell, or at least I think I can, that the author has truly put plenty of genuine passion and enthusiasm into the creation of this read and the end result is a book that is full of vibrancy and many layers of depth This is especially evident in regard to how well the main characters are crafted, especially Alice – who I really do admire and actually found myself relating to at some points.
I also would say that the book has quite a bit of a thriller/mystery undertone which really gives some of the chapters a real ‘page-turner’ kind of vibe. On that note, I dare not give away any spoilers but I will say there are plenty of twists and turns thrown that certainly caught me off guard – especially a major one relating to Theo.
I wouldn’t say that the book ultimately offers anything ground-breaking but I can’t help consider it still to be a high-quality read and, although I feel that some scenes could have been elaborated on more or even left out entirely, I found myself enjoying it essentially from start to finish.
Loved the characters and storyline i even felt i recognised people from their behaviour as it is about relationships and friendships between people of opposite classes and all the characters were so well described i could see them clearly in my mind,i even found myself laughing or even grimacing at some of the carryings on but a rivetting read and would reconmend it highly
In all honesty it was the blurb that made me agree to review this book. The title and cover didn’t particularly grab my attention but I was given the opportunity to participate in the blog tour so delved in.
Alice immediately strikes one as a lost soul, she cared for her mother until her death and subsequently is now attempting to rebuild her life. She had one bad experience with a man years previously and due to her devotion to her caring role finds herself very much single and in her forties. She has one passion though and that is to write .. so when she sees a retreat advertised she decides to go along and hope her mojo returns.
This writer’s retreat is in France based at a lovely chateaux, ideal peaceful surroundings with a handful of other people also signed up. This is where the story really unfolds and one by one as we find out about the variety of characters the book begins to get under your skin.
Theo is a dastardly sort and so easy to dislike, he is written fabulously. It is Alice and Theo who keep the tension going, with great interjections from his ex wife and son. Zoe wound me up because she came across as so shallow, having said that she was a super balance to Alice.
I had no idea what to expect from this book so it was delightful to find myself engrossed I thought I had it all figured out to a predictable ending but it didn’t work quite like that!
Drama, tragedy, love, deceit it has it all and pulls all the qualities together for a tremendous read. I haven’t read anything by this author before but will certainly be willing to try another book by her.
Many thanks to Faye Rogers, Hemmie and the publishers for my copy.
I loved this book. We were transported into the sights, sounds and smells of the south of France and could see ourselves sitting under the trees drinking rose on the first evening the group are together. I think that the atmosphere created is one of the strongest points of the story , the other ones are the strength of the characters and the little unexpected developments and twists to the story. Maybe we all wanted or expected the traditional happy ending , only to find ourselves taken aback ....Hemmie Martin is true to herself and creates suspense which makes it hard to put the book down. Read it , you'll love it !