- Book: The Summer Trip
- Location: Corfu
- Author: Isabelle Broom
This is the story of three adult sisters – Mattie, Ava and Ophelia – who have come together at Mattie and Niko’s plush villa, not far from Kalami on Corfu. Ava arrives with her soon to turn 18 year old daughter Rosie, who in turn is preparing for her future at University. The youngest sibling, very much a free child, is Ophelia, who has coincidentally flown in from Thailand with her companion and definitively-not-her-boyfriend, Sam.
The controlling matriarch, undermining and often a challenge to the girls, has had her hand in the get-together because all the three daughters are estranged from each other, and in her opinion it is time for some family bonding. The surprises start early in the novel and keep coming.
The book is mainly from Ava (short for Avalanche) and Rosie’s perspective and the mother-daughter relationship is well observed – the closeness is balanced by an embarrassed co-existence riding hand in hand. I can’t imagine that Rosie would have been thrilled at them sharing a room, let alone sharing a bed (given there were plenty of bedrooms available) but this was about Ava’s needs; 18 years ago she had had a relationship with her sister’s husband Niko, prior to his relationship and subsequent marriage to her sister. Whoah, if that isn’t all too close and uncomfortable wait until you see what Rosie gets up to… boundaries in the family are a bit loose and no wonder there are family rifts. Imagine living under the same roof as a former lover, now married to your sister! Complicated to say the least!
The narrative progresses very nicely with a humming backdrop of Corfu. Towards the end, the story gets quite busy – secrets and histories are revealed, people go missing, romance hovers in the air….
What this author does very well is write in a very smooth and competent way, her stories are engaging and propulsive and as a reader you want to find out what happens in the end!
Isabelle Broom is always adept at finding a credible setting her novels and The Summer Trip captures the feel of Greece. There is plenty of sun and sea and food to transport the reader in an instant to this beautiful part of the world.