Dangerous Waters: Mystery, Loss and Love on the Island of Guernsey by Anne Allen
|Dangerous Waters: Mystery, Loss and Love on the Island of Guernsey by Anne Allen|
|Genre: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The sub-title says it all. It's better than chick-lit and gives a satisfying, intelligent read. Anne Allen popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 312||Date: April 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
Jeanne Le Page suffered a panic attack as the ferry neared Guernsey. It was a decade and a half since she'd left the island following the deaths of her parents in a boating accident. She'd been in the boat with them but had no memory of what happened other than the occasional flashback. It was the death of her grandmother which brought her back to the island, but she never intended to stay for long - in fact just long enough to arrange for the sale of the cottage which her grandmother had left her. But somehow the island worked its magic on her and she found herself making friends and developing more of a social life than she'd had back on the mainland.
You'll like Jeanne. More importantly you'll find yourself involved with her and wanting life to work out right for her - for a change. When we meet her she'd just emerged from a long-term relationship and a miscarriage with her confidence badly dented and wondering how she could have so misjudged the man with whom she'd spent all those years. She's not in a hurry to get into another relationship but the chance of a date with someone she had a crush on at school seems a good idea particularly as it means that she meets up with some of the girls she knew before. Losing touch with girlfriends is a mistake she's not going to make again.
It's her grandmother's cottage which really catches her imagination. Would she get a better price if it was modernised before it went on the market? Jeanne's a writer and the discovery of some recipes gets more than just her gastric juices flowing - and then she finds some love letters written to her grandmother by a German soldier during the occupation. It's not long before Jeanne is planning the book she wants to write - and dealing with a sinister discovery.
I was impressed by the background to the book. There's quite a bit about psychotherapy and particularly hypnosis, which has prompted me to do some further reading, as well as an insight into what I think of as the back-end of the publishing industry - the bit that the reader never sees or even knows exists. It's delivered with a light touch but gives the book real depth.
I've never been to Guernsey but I'm determined to go now that I've read this book. There's a thoughtful sketch map which kept me in touch with where I was - and a useful glossary at the back and even some of Jeanne's recipes. Relax - it's a book you can settle into and really enjoy, but it's a lot more than chick-lit. There's an intriguing mystery and a finish which had me reading into the early hours of the morning to find out what happened.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Anne Allen was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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