You can never have too many books for the holidays – whether you’re settling in on the beach or on a balcony, overlooking the ocean – an easy read alon with a tea or coffee with biscuits and chocolates: you’re ready to be swept away by romance while you relax, all comfortable.
Someone who is not that comfy with her life at this moment is Jessie. After a 21-year marriage, her husband William has fallen in love with a younger woman and wants to share his life with her. Jessie is shocked, they have an 18-year old daughter Hannah, who just left for University, they both are solicitors at the same firm – their life seems perfect to her. Yes, of course, there are little things, but after two decades of being together, there are bound to be a few.
According to Jessie’s philosophy on relationships these fall into three categories “the bottom dwellers, the skimmers and the ones who dive for pearls.” Jessie always considered her and William to be the pearl divers, bound by a deep and mutual love, trust and loyalty. She is not one to dwell on shallow pebbles on the beach, nice to look at, but washed away when the slightest pressure is applied. When Jessie is in a relationship, she wants it all, that commitment you only share with your soul mate, building a life together. This is what William has walked away from and that hurts.
As sad and devastated Jessie is, she is getting angrier with time. She has to face the gossip and people, she has to go to work every day, amidst the same colleagues as her husband. Yes, her husband, because Jessie just cannot cope with what William is doing and she refuses him a divorce. Is she being childish? In all probability, but why did William throw away their marriage, why did he betray her like this? The one thing Jessie has left is her beautiful house The Lodge. This is her safe place, where she feels at home, where perhaps one day she can be happy again. The Lodge is what Jessie needs to keep, no matter what, her solid base in life.
Her daughter Hannah is pushing Jessie to start dating. When Jessie meets ten years younger flower seller Owen Phillips, with his beautiful blue eyes, she instantly feels a connection, perhaps she is able to move on – to again open her heart. With Owen Jessie can take it slowly, he doesn’t rush or pressure her. Could Owen be a pearl diver like Jessie, someone who it’s worth diving deep for? They are taking the time to get to know each other and fall in love. Jessie feels great, she radiates and everyone around them notices, her daughter Hannah, William, their colleagues and friends. Yes, Jessie is picking up the pieces and starting to embrace life and love.
Perhaps now is the time for Jessie to handle the divorce from William. He is desperate to move on – his girlfriend is pregnant and they want to build a home for the three of them. This is what William asked for, but somehow William isn’t as happy as he should be and not too keen about both his new life and Jessie’s newfound love. Tough luck you would say, he’s the one who broke up their marriage. Or could there be something else, is William having second thoughts or simply jealous of Owen taking his place with Jessie?
Is this why Jessie can’t reach her target to being made partner in their firm? Is William blocking her promotion out of selfishness, out of spite? How can she make any more hours than she is already doing right now – but apparently somehow she has to find a way, because it doesn’t seem enough. The one thing left is The Lodge and Jessie desperately needs her home to call her own. With all that is going on, can she afford living there and will William grant her the full ownership? And is Jessie able to once more share a deep-felt love with a fellow pearl diver or will she just stay on the beach playing with the pebbles?
As troublesome as these questions seem, this book is a pleasant and enjoyable read. It has all the ingredients a romantic novel needs: love, hurt, betrayal, misunderstandings, love making, endless kisses, finding a way to deal with situations, crying and picking up the pieces – with lessons to be learned along the way. Jessie is a really nice person, honest and easy to connect with, but the other characters in the book are, even if they’ve messed up thoroughly, still in their own way gentle and considerate. The point of view switching makes the book interesting, the natural dialogues feel genuine. The book is simply a delightful read.
Ellie Holmes is a British author, who writes “books with a heart and soul and a dash of danger” and takes her inspiration from “ the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast.” ‘The Flower Seller’ is her 2016 romantic debut novel. In September, 2016, ‘The Tregelian Hoard’, her first book in a series of cosy mysteries ‘ The Cornish Intrigue’ series is to be published.
|Publisher||Whitefox (2 Jun. 2016)|