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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Where the Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine

Setting: France and England
Genre: Historical Women's Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Author: Laura Madeleine
Release Date: February 13, 2018

It's 1969. Bill Perch's boss gives him his chance to spread his wings. The young solicitor is tasked with unraveling what happened to Emeline Vane. After her brother has a stroke, her remaining family needs to prove she is dead, even if her brother is convinced he has proof that she's still alive.

Back in 1919, Emeline suffers a great loss. She's now the owner of Hallerton House, but money's tight and her uncle wants to sell it. Small situations lead up to one big incident. Her uncle believes she is mentally incapacitated and wants to have her committed. As he hands her over to a nurse who will escort her the rest of the way, Emeline escapes on another train.

She winds up on the border of France and Spain where she convinces a local cafe owner and her 20-year-old son to take her in. There, she must keep her secret if she's to keep from ending up in a place she's convinced she doesn't belong.

Where the Wild Cherries Grow bounces between 1919 and 1969. The changes are fluid and never leave you wondering who is speaking. I found myself totally engrossed in Emeline's story and, as a result, knew why Bill felt the way he did. His urgency in unraveling the truth kept the plot moving.

The details of the food Emeline, Clemence, and Clemence's son Aaro were just as enchanting. I found my mouth watering with each very vivid dish to come out of the kitchen. What I wouldn't have loved to be part of that town!

This is a gorgeous book with likable characters, a stunning setting, and a mystery that slowly unwinds with each page. I highly recommend it.

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