Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Where the Wild Cherries Grow

Sometime I get books in the mail by surprise, this was one of them. It's always a mixed bag, sometimes they aren't something I'd normally pick (like this one) but end up being unexpectedly good.

Where The Wild Cherries Grow - Laura Madeleine

I closed my eyes as I tried to pick apart every flavour, because nothing had ever tasted so good before. It was like tasting for the first time. Like discovering colour . . .

It is 1919 and the war is over, but for Emeline Vane the cold Norfolk fens only are haunted by memories of those she has lost. In a moment of grief, she recklessly boards a train and runs from it all.

Her journey leads her far away, to a tiny seaside village in the South of France. Taken in by cafe owner Maman and her twenty-year-old son, Emeline discovers a world completely new to her: of oranges, olives and wild herbs, the raw, rich tastes of the land.

But when a love affair develops, as passionate as the flavours of the village, secrets from home begin blowing in on the sea wides. Fifty years later, a young solictor on his first case finds Emeline's diary, and begins to trace a story of betrayal, love and bittersweet secrets that will send him on a journey to discover the truth...

Alright, this book reminds me of Little Women, kind of. That's what I kept picturing as I read this. We have Emeline, who picks up and leaves her life at just 19, and her family assumes she's died. It's post war, it's chaos, anything could have happened to her. In an effort to find out, they hire solicitors to figure out what happened to her so that they can take care of present day estate issues. The story flip flops between Emeline and the man charged with finding out her fate, Bill. The more that bill digs into history, and Emeline's diary, the more he's convinced she is still alive despite her story. Secrets are uncovered, history isn't what it seems, and despite what he's hired to do, Bill continues on. I can't really give you more without revealing Emeline's fate, but I will tell you if you love the history flip flop, if you love secret love stories and root for the women to change the course of their life, this book is for you. Absolutely.

My only complaints? Some of the story is a bit slow, the descriptions of the lands of France are time consuming and cumbersome. We get it, it's gorgeous, does it warrant repeating often? I don't think so. It's a slow moving mystery and my favorites are the ones that are fast paced and have you gripping the book in suspense. This definitely isn't that, it's a slow burn. Overall I'm giving this one a 3 1/2 stars. It was beautiful, I loved the fate of Emeline and how we discovered it, my only quips are the slowness of the pace and some of the redundant descriptions. I almost chose to not finish it but my curiosity won out.


No comments: