Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Review: Beyond the Orchard by Anna Romer

Beyond the Orchard is a beautiful story of love, loneliness, family and secrets, spanning the twentieth century. Lucy Briar left home in a hurry, keen to get away from a broken heart and past mistakes. Five years later, a mysterious letter from her distant grandfather, claiming that he wants to explain everything, arrives and Lucy finds herself leaving London, and her fiance for her hometown of Melbourne. Her grandfather, Edwin, passes away before she arrives. Her father, Ron, who is struggling with his own problems insists that she travels to Bitterwood, the old estate in country Victoria owned by her grandfather, to retrieve a photo album. What Lucy finds at Bitterwood leads her to uncovering another, much darker, family secret ...

Of all of Anna Romer's novels, Beyond the Orchard is by far my favourite for its dark mystery and surprising conclusion. I loved reading the story of Orah and her tragic arrival in Australia that eventually brought her to Bitterwood, as well as the events that would shape Edwin into being the tragic, lonely old grandfather that Lucy barely knew. I'm a big softie when it comes to reading about unconventional romances, and I loved the pairing of Lucy and Morgan. I think the author handled it in a way that it was believable that a pair with that kind of history and such an age gap could fall in love. 

An enjoyable read. Highly recommended.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my ARC.