This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kelly Allen
After 18 years of living in America, Oriana returns to her homeland, England. The place where she grew up and grew away. Unhappy and lost, Oriana spends her initial days in the UK avoiding her mother Rachel, lost in a world of confusion and regret. A horrible accident that occurred 18 years ago still haunts Oriana, and one day she makes the trip back to her childhood home of Windward, where she has no choice but to face the past.
Whilst visiting she bumps into one of her childhood friends, Jed. Jed is infatuated with Oriana, but Oriana’s heart is destined for another – Jed’s brother Malachy. Jed tries his best to keep her to himself, but she eventually stumbles upon Malachy and, from then on, there is an invisible tug-of-war between the brothers and the girl who holds both of their hearts.
Alongside the love triangle, Oriana has other problems in the form of her eccentric parents and their pure lack of parenting as she grew up. Indifferent and impatient, both parents seemed to see her as a burden. When Rachel left her father, Robin, for another man, Bernard, Oriana remained at Windward with her dad. However, when a terrible accident occurs at the hands of Oriana, she is sent to America to live, away from the place that once meant everything to her and away from Malachy.
Now 18 years later their worlds have collided once again, and it will take some unravelling to put the record straight. But who will win Oriana’s heart in the end?
I really loved this book. The descriptions of the little shops and Windward are beautifully mesmerising and the characters are full of life, bounding off the pages creating a world all of their own.I loved how each character stood alone, no confusion or over-complicated additions to the story. Each character had their own personality, and I adored Bernard, Rachel’s husband. He was eclectically English and his personality was strongly rooted through the dialogue and personal mannerisms. He was a joy to read, especially in comparison to Rachel who seemed like a sort of evil ice queen, completely disgruntled over her daughter’s return and happy in her daily routine, which consists of her and Bernard and nobody else. She truly aggravated me, but in a good way because it fuelled me to read on.
Oriana seemed like a lost child to me, and I felt connected to her and her woes. I could certainly appreciate her situation and I easily empathised with her, hoping all the while that things would turn out okay in the end. Her relationship with the brothers, Malachy and Jed, was strong yet at the same time intense. I found this interesting to read, because at times it was beautiful, and then it was awkward, and it gave a true insight into close friendships, love and family.
Oriana’s best friend Cat was another lovely addition to the book, along with her husband Ben and her father Django, who brought life-like foody scents, sounds and textures to the page. I felt the safety and security of Django’s home through the descriptions and emotions used throughout the book, and it made me want to visit his house and cosy up with hot food and a warm shoulder to cry on.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is beautifully written and a sheer joy to read. Even though the world through Oriana’s eyes can sometimes seem helpless, it proves we can find ourselves again, that we all have the few people who can pick us up at some point – the point when we need them most.