REVIEWED BY DEBS CARR
Jen is a photographer and lives in unwedded semi-bliss with her boyfriend Marcus, when he's not travelling around the world on business, and their seven-year-old son Alfie. She feels a little restricted. Her once flourishing career has been pushed aside to accommodate Alfie and Marcus and it doesn't help that when Marcus is at home Alfie sleeps in their bed as a constant barrier between them.
Jen sometimes thinks back to more carefree times, when she was working in Rome and in love with Sam, a carefree, ex-love of hers with whom she spent one memorable night and many happy days.
When Sam phones on Jen's birthday and invites her, Marcus and Alfie for a week to his father's villa in Tuscany she's delighted and can't wait to see him and the collection of friends, some familiar and some new, on their week away.
But once they're together, suspicions are aroused and Jen can't help feeling that there's something going on between Marcus and one of the other women who up until now, Jen has thought of as a close friend She is disappointed when Sam is delayed for a few days and then Marcus has to take time out of their holiday to travel to Japan leaving Jen and Alfie behind with the other guests.
As the group deal with their private problems and irritations with each other they do their best to make the most of their time in the sun. Jen tries to find a way to get on with Jill, the middle-aged housekeeper, but finds it difficult to relax whenever the woman is around. As the three children play something dreadful happens and Jen finds that maybe it's time to have a rethink.
You can almost feel the heat of the sun when you read this book. Jen knows she has a lot to be grateful for, but you can't help but sympathize with her as she yearns for a time when she was closer to Marcus and life was a little more relaxed. An enjoyable summer read that manages to depict what it's like to have fun while on holiday with a group of friends as they try to hide their underlying problems and insecurities.
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