Talking Location With author Daniella Bernett – MALTA
Five Great Books set in Mallorca
3rd June 2019
Mallorca is the latest destination in our ‘Great books set in…’ series. Five great books set in Mallorca – to transport you to this sunny, Mediterranean island without leaving the comfort of your home
1. The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh, set in Deià
One hot summer. One week in a villa on the outskirts of Deia, a village nestling in the rugged, mountainous west coast of the island of Mallorca. One family for whom the carefully laid jigsaw of life is about to be broken.
Jenn and her husband Greg holiday each year in Deia, enjoying languorous afternoons by the pool. But this year the equilibrium is upset by the arrival of Emma, Jenn’s stepdaughter, and her boyfriend Nathan. Beautiful and reckless, Nathan stirs something unexpected in Jenn. As she is increasingly seduced by the notion of Nathan’s youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession begins to blur. What follows is a highly-charged liaison that put lives and relationships in jeopardy, and a taut narrative which percolates with enough sexual tension to make it impossible to put down.
2. A Summer Reunion by Fanny Blake, set near Fornalutx
Amy, Linda, Kate and Jane were best friends at school. Now, years later, they have grown apart. When Amy discovers her husband has been stealing from her successful interiors business, and with a milestone birthday looming, she decides it is the time to reach out to her old friends once again.
So, she decides to invite the other three to her beautiful villa in Mallorca for a reunion weekend. As the four friends gather, secrets are unearthed, old scores settled and new friendships forged. Will this holiday bring them together or tear them apart? And will each of them grasp their second chance for happiness…?
3. The Vacationers by Emma Straub, set in Puigpunyent
The Posts are going on their first family vacation in years, and it’s going to be a special one: Jim and Franny are taking their daughter Sylvia, son Bobby and his girlfriend, and Franny’s best friend Charles and his husband, all the way to Mallorca for two weeks of the sort of relaxation, culture and cuisine that only Europe can offer.
But there are problems. After a transgression with a twenty-three-year-old editorial assistant, Jim has been unceremoniously sacked from his job, and now his and Franny’s marriage is on the rocks. Charles and Lawrence are feeling divided over their future, Bobby is mired in debt problems and stuck in a relationship that’s pulling in opposite directions and his girlfriend Carmen, super-fit personal trainer and, at forty-something, far too old for Bobby, seems to have realized her mistake. As for Sylvia, she’s eighteen, about to go to college, and determined to lose her virginity before she gets there . . .
4. Bread and Oil by Tomas Graves
On the island of Mallorca pa amb oli (bread and oil) is rubbed with garlic or tomatoes and salt, as it is in many other Mediterranean countries. Graves starts with this simple dish as a starting point to explore more cooking, traditions, agriculture, and historical influences that trace the dish back to Roman Times. This dish symbolises for the people of Mallorca their traditional roots and celebrates the resourceful nature, despite becoming a popular tourist destination and all the pressures that entails..
5. The Rocks by Peter Nicols
Set on the island of Mallorca, The Rocks is a double love story told in reverse. Opening in 2005 with a dramatic event that seems to seal the mystery of two lives, the story moves backwards in time, unravelling over sixty years, amid the olive groves and bars, the boats and poolside parties, the lives and relationships of two intertwined families within an expat community of endearing and flawed characters. As one story is revealed, another, sweeter one, a love story of a couple from the younger generation, arises in the wake of their elders’ failures. The Rocks is a darkly comic, bittersweet, finally heartbreaking novel, that slips back in time to reveal the shocking incident that marked and altered these lives for ever.
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