This not one of those lighter books of this genre, and has a lot more packed into it than I expected. After finishing the book, the first thing that I could think of was the fact that it would have worked better as three separate books. A trilogy, one for each of the women that we have the privilege of following around and listening to the thoughts of.
There is a lot happening at the Lemon Tree hotel. It was once a convent that the current owners’ family took up in an effort to preserve it and also to build a business. There are three generations of the family who are living together under one roof.
- We have the grandmother, Chiara. She has a past which seems to have come calling and threatens to change her present.
- Her daughter Elene who is insecure about her life and position as co-owner of the hotel and very strangely behaved in the first half but the second knocks some sense into her.
- Lastly, we have the granddaughter Isabella who currently runs the day-to-day things in the hotel and she is very curious about their latest guest.
Now, each of their problems is pretty emotionally heavy and are independent of the other’s issues. This had me jumping from one person to another without actually becoming fully invested in any of their lives. The love they feel for their home and the role they play in society is clear enough but even their resolutions did not satisfy me because of the aforementioned reason.
The book paints a very interesting picture of the small town, how the war changed it and how economies are codependent. I liked the read but would have loved it if I ‘felt’ more individually.
This was an ARC I received thanks to NetGalley and the publishers. The review is completely based on my own reading experience.