The Island of Palm Trees
Standalone or series
First time reading this author?
Why I picked this
Opportunity to read for blog tour
Review copy or purchase
Thank you to the author and Insta Book Tours for the gifted copy as part of a blog tour. This is an honest and voluntary review.
What it’s about
It’s the final days before the Scarlett Grove hotel is sold. People come to the hotel for many reasons, but in the days leading up to the transfer many of the things they’d hoped to escape from catch up with them.
Aspiring writer Tom Jennings gets more than he bargained for when he travels to southern Spain in search of life experience to help his writing. At the Scarlett Grove he gets more than he bargained for in a tale of murder, intrigue, young live and new adventures.
The story switches perspectives between a few people in and around the Scarlett Grove, all of whom have their own reasons for fleeing to the sun. The manager selling off her family’s hotel, the new owner trying to prove himself to a faithless father, the couple whose marriage was broken by tragedy and is now marred by violence, and the mysterious young woman who pulls Tom into an unexpected adventure.
As a debut novel there’s lots of potential here. I think a good editor could have smoothed out the rough edges and helped the author to create something quite special. But, if you make allowances for the lack of that kind of support theres still the bones of an enjoyable story here.
The hotel setting reminded me of The Night Manager. Less international intrigue, but the things someone will ask hotel staff to do and the sense of the secrets they keep behind a face of professional discretion gave me similar vibes. Tom’s character arc from quite naïve to someone willing to take risks and put himself in danger to do the right thing had almost a World According to Garp feel about it.
I’d definitely recommend giving this a try.