Guernsey Retreat: The Guernsey Novels Book 3 by Anne Allen
|Guernsey Retreat: The Guernsey Novels Book 3 by Anne Allen|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A mystery and a romance which leaves you with a smile on your face. A great holiday read - on Guernsey or elsewhere!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 284||Date: August 2014|
|Publisher: Sarnia Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Louisa returned home one night to the house she shared with her mother, but as she opened the door a man pushed past her and dashed away. Her mother was shocked and injured by what had happened - and died in Louisa's arms, but not before telling her that the man had come for 'the jewels' - the ones which she'd worn to a ball. Susan had never married. Time and circumstances had separated her from Louisa's father before he could know that she was pregnant and no man had ever been able to match Malcolm in her heart - and it was Malcolm who had the jewels and who had to be warned that he was probably in danger.
Malcolm was separated from Susan when he had to return home to Canada because his mother was seriously ill. He was conceived in Guernsey but went to Canada with his mother after the death (well, 'murder' would be more accurate) of his father. He spent time in India and returned to Guernsey to open a health spa in the house that had been his father's home. The jewels, which came into the family by not entirely honest means have caused two deaths by the time that Louisa realises that the father she has never known is only a short plane ride away from her home in London.
I regard Anne Allen's Guernsey novels as an indulgent treat: they're seriously easy to read, with some great characters and a brilliant island location which is used to full advantage: you really feel as though you're there. Allen has a subtle insight into the dynamics of dysfunctional families - the ones with quirks in their history - and the independent people they give birth to. She doesn't fall into the obvious trap of creating unhappiness within the families: both Malcolm and Louisa loved their mothers dearly and grew to be strong people themselves. The hint that their upbringing has left its mark is shown by the fact that Malcolm has never married - and Louisa finds it difficult to believe that the man who has stolen her heart - the manager of Malcolm's health spa - could reciprocate her feelings. There's a neat mirroring of circumstances with both Malcolm and Louisa having a parent killed in the search for the jewels.
There's considerable insight too in the relationship between Malcolm and Louisa. Louisa has always known that she had a father, but Malcolm knew nothing of the existence of Louisa until he was confronted by her. There's a wariness on both sides at first, followed by a steady growth of affection rather than insta-love and it's a relationship you can believe in.
Whenever I read one of Anne Allen's books I'm always disappointed when I turn the final page: the books lift me out of reality and whisk me away to somewhere warm and comfortable. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
The three book (so far!) in the series all read as standalones, but for a treat, start with Dangerous Waters: Mystery, Loss and Love on the Island of Guernsey and follow up with Finding Mother by Anne Allen. I bet you start thinking about a holiday in Guernsey!
You can read more book reviews or buy Guernsey Retreat: The Guernsey Novels Book 3 by Anne Allen at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Guernsey Retreat: The Guernsey Novels Book 3 by Anne Allen at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.