27 July 2017

A Discovering Diamonds review of: The House on the Beach by Joan Fallon



AmazonUK £2.92 £10.99
AmazonUS $3.64 $12.99

Family Drama
1930s
Spain

Rocio and Inma meet as children and promise to be life-long friends. Set in Spain, in the years after the Civil War, their unlikely friendship faces many challenges. It is a time when women have few rights and are controlled not only by a dictatorial State but also by an ever-watchful Church.
The girls come from different strata of society, one is poor and the other rich. But they each have their problems. When Inma saves Rocio from disgrace and the inevitable expulsion from the family home, Rocio believes their friendship will hold for ever. But she has overestimated Inma’s loyalty and her subsequent betrayal is hard to accept.”

Joan Fallon has a talent for writing realism about Spain and the events that happened to form the diverse eras of this wonderful country’s rich and varied history. I know little of the Spanish Civil War regrading accuracy and detail, but to my mind this delightful – if somewhat sad in places – novel is well researched.

It is not always easy for a writer to create a believable story where the two lead characters are so very different, in lifestyle, attitude and outlook, but Ms Fallon has pulled this off very well as a light and entertaining read. These two young women catch the imagination and you feel yourself involved with their triumphs and disasters, their happiness and their tears from chapter one and throughout.

Spain itself is as much a character – I would heartily recommend this read for a light, sun-based holiday read: ideal form when you are stretched out on a comfortable lounger beside the pool or on the beach, glass of wine to hand…

© Ellen Hill
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