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Mystery set mainly on an island in GREECE

13th June 2023

The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop, mystery set mainly on an island in Greece.

Mystery set mainly on an island in GREECE

Rachel is a 17 year old girl, who is due to go on to her final year of studies at school. In the intervening Summer months, she decamps with her friend to an unspecified island in Greece, where they want to have a good time together. They fall in with a group of girls, she gets a job in a bar and are drawn to a sumptuous house owned by Henry Taylor, who throws extravagant parties. Alistair is his right-hand man and his eye settles on Rachel. He is a much older man, perhaps double her age and the warning bells should be ringing. But they aren’t.

She is ensnared, so much so that she decides not to return home for her last year of A Levels and she is determined to see out the season on the island. Infatuated, she wants to continue her involvement with Alistair.. He declares his mutual love for her in words but not in actions, and stresses their relationship, for some reason, must remain a secret.

16 years later in the present, Rachel is married to Tom. They are in theory trying to conceive but it’s not going to plan. He is portrayed as an understanding, long-suffering and empathic man but she has too many secrets and personal issues that prevent her from really engaging with him. The blame for her personality traits lies with her upbringing, her sense of self loathing, her lack of self belief – in fact the usual psychological trope. Her mother (now divorced from her father) is an unsupportive person and closes down any deeper conversations around feelings.

Tom and Rachel return to the island in Greece where she spent her formative teenage years. She comes across someone from back in the day, who reluctantly puts her back in touch with Alistair, for whom she still has strong and unrequited feelings. Tom is unaware of her real backstory and once she is back in London she starts to pick at the old relationship scab, upsetting the balance of her life. Will the full story of what happened all those years ago emerge?

Mystery set mainly on an island in GREECETom is a likeable guy but Rachel is not. She lies easily at the drop of a hat, ishe s devious and runs rings around her husband. I felt oddly unconvinced by her continuing strong attachment and infatuation with Alistair, although, of course, first ‘loves’ can have a remarkably strong hold over the adult psyche.

I wanted to know how the story would evolve, as it went round and round, drilling down to the nub of what happened all those years ago. I found it very readable. The author has a good writing style and I will be interested to see where she goes next.

Love the cover.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

Catch the author on Twitter @WhatKaiteBwrote and IG: @katiebishopwrites 

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