Wednesday 21 September 2022

Guest Review: A Postcard From Capri by Alex Brown

In the Golden Age of Hollywood, Kelly Sinclair is on the cusp of becoming the next big movie star. Until then, she’s spending the summer of 1953 on the magical island of Capri…

Sixty years later, on a visit to her elderly grandmother’s cottage, photographer Maddie Williams unearths a box of old film memorabilia featuring a glamorous and beautiful young woman with platinum blonde hair. She also finds a postcard from the island of Capri, detailing the heart-breaking end of a passionate love affair.

Her grandmother now has trouble remembering anything from all those years ago. So when Maddie is commissioned for a photoshoot in Italy, she visits Capri to see if she can find out the truth. Can she unravel the mystery and discover what really happened in the summer of 1953, and will her magical island escape hold some surprises for Maddie, too?

Review: This is the third book in the Postcard series from Alex Brown, following on from A Postcard From Italy and A Postcard From Paris, both of which I read and thoroughly enjoyed. All of these books concern a search into a family’s history triggered by the discovery of an old postcard. In this case, the postcard is from the beautiful Italian island of Capri and the narrative is split between the 1950s and present day, forming the basis of a story which had me enthralled right from the start. 

The central characters in the story are aspiring photographer Maddie and her grandmother, Rose, who now lives in a care home and has early signs of dementia. When Maddie and her sister are looking through some old photos in Rose’s cottage, they come across a collection of theatre and film souvenirs, mainly from the 1950s, including pictures of a glamorous film star and also a postcard from the isle of Capri. They begin to wonder if that film star could possibly be their grandmother, but she is too confused to give them any further information. By chance, Maddie lands a photography contract in Italy, and decides to follow that up with a holiday in Capri, where she intends to do some research into the film star in the photos and her grandmother’s connections with the island. With some effort, she finally gets to the bottom of the mystery and discovers is a whole part of her family’s history that had been lost in the mists of time. 

I thought this was a charming, but powerful, story of a grand-daughter’s love for her grandmother leading her to travel many miles to help unravel a mystery from her past and put her mind at ease. Maddie discovered so much about Rose’s life in the 1950s; many happy times but also so much tragedy. The story of Rose’s life at that time was discovered only by some skilled investigating, and had me captivated; there was a surprise around every corner. Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed being transported to the stunning island of Capri, with its beautiful views, tasty cuisine and links with film stars from that bygone era. I would have loved to join Maddie on a terrace overlooking the mediterranean drinking limoncello cocktails. I highly recommend this book to other readers, but it may leave you, as it did me, with a hankering for a holiday on that lovely island.

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

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