le 3 février 2014
Writer Jeanne Le Page goes back to Guernsey after a personal tragedy, to the house she has inherited from her grandmother. There she finds a new purpose in life in the writing of a cookery book based on old French recipes inherited from a family member who once ran a restaurant in Paris. She is also renovating the house, with a view to selling - or possibly keeping, she isn't decided. There's one room that she has always disliked, and during the renovations, a body is found under the floorboards.
This leads her to look into her grandmother's past, which is intertwined with Guernsey's own history.
Meanwhile she has to face her own demons: what happened on the family boat the day her parents were killed? Someone knows, and is bent on stopping her from finding out.
So far, so good; too much information about house values and costs, and publishers' advances, get in the way of the story. The initial hostility between her and the man who will become the love interest is not followed up.
I know Guernsey a little, which is partly why I bought the book, but I didn't see it at all here. St Peter Port appears as a building site - where is the charm of the streets that lead to the water, and the fort with the little garden? What about the beaches and the tiny cottages with their long gardens? Guernsey is part of the story, but the setting depicted here could be anywhere with a harbour.
Would I buy more? Yes, but with fingers crossed.