Book review: The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

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You would be forgiven for thinking that The Lemon Grove is a love story - or rather, a lust story - if you had the general gist explained to you.

Jenn, a woman on the cusp of middle age, has a brief affair with her step-daughter’s boyfriend, Nathan, while they holiday in lush, arty Deia in Mallorca.

However, while the erotic scenes are masterfully and evocatively written, there is much more in the novel than a cliched affair. Step-daughter Emma is fifteen, on the cusp of sexual maturity, and starting to pull away from her step-mother’s grasp; Greg is Emma’s father, Jenn’s older husband, the keeper of a secret from the family, a secret that makes Nathan’s burgeoning masculinity a further point of conflict; and Nathan himself is a working-class teenager, beautiful, clever and intent on wielding his power among a fracturing family.

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