Wednesday 26 August 2020

Guest Review: The Lemon Tree Hotel by Rosanna Ley

A story about love, family secrets, and a little piece of heaven . . .

In the beautiful village of Vernazza, the Mazzone family have transformed an old convent overlooking the glamorous Italian Riviera into the elegant Lemon Tree Hotel. For Chiara, her daughter Elene and her granddaughter Isabella, the running of their hotel is the driving force in their lives.
One day, two unexpected guests check in. The first, Dante, is a face from Chiara's past, but what exactly happened between them all those years ago, Elene wonders. Meanwhile, Isabella is preoccupied with the second guest, a mysterious young man who seems to know a lot about the history of the old convent and the people who live there. Isabella is determined to find out his true intentions and discover the secret past of the Lemon Tree Hotel.

Review: This is my first book from Rosanna Ley. I have to admit to being attracted to it primarily by the cover, which just calls out an invitation to a lovely Mediterranean setting with a table on the terrace waiting for someone to sit down with a glass of something cool. I listened to the audio format of the story, which kept me entranced for hours. It proved a really powerful family saga that left me with a desire to set off for Italy and find that view on the cover.

The book tells the tale of the Lemon Tree Hotel, a converted convent overlooking Vernazza, a small village on the Italian Riviera. The hotel has been in the same family for many years, and is currently run successfully by three strong women - Chiara Mazzone, her daughter Elene, the hotel’s chef, and her granddaughter Isabella. Chiara has lived there all her life, and is resistant to changing anything about the hotel, while Elene and her husband would like to see some more modern features introduced. As it is nearing the end of the season, the hotel is beginning to wind down when there are two new arrivals, unknown to each other, but each of whom has a profound effect on the easy going atmosphere of the establishment. The first is Dante, a face from Chiara’s past whose presence has an unsettling effect on her and her husband. The other is a young German guest, Ferdinand, who piques Isabella’s interest, but also makes everyone wonder why he has come. Both guests cause a lot of upheaval for the three women, but before all is clear, a disaster strikes the little village that could spell disaster for them all.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in this beautifully written story of family secrets and turmoil, romance and history, all in a wonderful setting. The descriptions of the old hotel and the delicious dishes served in the dining room there would be enough to attract anyone without the draw of the lovely old fishing village. Rosanna Ley has introduced us to some incredibly powerful personalities in the three women involved in running the hotel, from the matriarch Chiara, who had a difficult decision to make in the long distant past, to her daughter who seems so angry inside, to the granddaughter who values the history of the hotel just as much as her grandmother. I found myself very tied up with their feelings and wishing a happy conclusion for them all. I was shocked to find that the disaster that occurred in the village had happened in real life and was moved to look for more information on the internet once I had finished reading the book. I can recommend this story to other readers, especially if a peaceful Italian holiday appeals to you.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

No comments:

Post a Comment