ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – A Summer Reunion by Fanny Blake @FannyBlake1 @orionbooks #BlogTour
Fanny Blake is an author I have been meaning to read for a long time but this seems to have been my first opportunity so I was really pleased to be a part of the blog tour. My thanks to Alainna Hadjigeorgiou from Orion for the place on the tour and for sending a finished copy of the book for review purposes.
One perfect villa, four old friends, and a holiday that will change everything…
Amy, Linda, Kate and Jane were best friends at school. Now, years later, they have grown apart. When Amy discovers her husband has been stealing from her successful interiors business, and with a milestone birthday looming, she decides it is the time to reach out to her old friends once again.
So, she decides to invite the other three to her beautiful villa in Mallorca for a reunion weekend. As the four friends gather, secrets are unearthed, old scores settled and new friendships forged. Will this holiday bring them together or tear them apart? And will each of them grasp their second chance for happiness…?
I feel like I really should have read a Fanny Blake novel before, but this happens to be my first and I enjoyed it very much indeed.
We start off meeting Amy, a woman who has a very successful home interiors business (think shades of Laura Ashley). When she finds out her husband has betrayed her in more ways than one, it forces her to think of an old hurt, one which was never resolved and which has been in the background of her life since she was a schoolgirl. To try and put the matter to bed she invites three old friends from that time to her villa in Mallorca. Given that they haven’t seen much of each other over the years it’s quite a risky strategy and I did wonder how I would feel suddenly being thrust together with people I knew at school.
Anyway, Linda, Jane and Kate accept Amy’s invitation and they spend a few days together. There’s plenty of ups and downs, mostly because of the quite difficult Jane, but by the end of the holiday things are quite different for all of them.
Two things about this book really stand out for me. The first is that this is not a group of twenty-something women, these are sixty year old women. It’s so nice to read a story featuring this age group for once. They’re women who have been through plenty in their lives to get to where they are and whilst it hasn’t always been easy, they can use their experiences to make the next stage of their lives even better. The second thing is that I thought the author really brought Mallorca to life with her evocative descriptions. I could really feel the sunshine, and the smells, sounds, places were there quite strongly in my imagination.
A Summer Reunion is a lovely read, perfect for a holiday but great for any time really. The writing is absorbing and enjoyable, and it’s easy to read, yet doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects. Friendships from the past don’t always last but in this case the characters have had a second chance and I loved that. I’m sure this won’t be my last Fanny Blake book.
Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is a former books editor of Woman & Home magazine. She has been a judge of a number of literary prizes, including the Costa First Novel award, the Desmond Elliott Award, the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award and the British Book Awards. She is also the commissioning editor for Quick Reads and a book reviewer. She has written seven novels, including Our Summer Together and An Italian Summer.