Monday, 22 February 2010

Romantic reading

I was intrigued by Rafaella Barker's Poppyland, as I haven't read anything by her for some years, and I remember enjoying some of her earlier novels, such as Hens Dancing and Come and Tell Me Some Lies. This story is sub-titled a love story. It develops slowly, but I think is the better for that. The relationship between Grace, a painter and Ryder a marine engineer is first suggested in their brief meeting in Copenhagen at Grace's first exhibition of her work. Five years later, Grace returns to Norfolk to the christening of her sister Lucy's two children, after separating from her lover Jerome, an older, controlling oil executive. Meanwhile Ryder decides to meet up with his long dead sister Bonnie's boyfriend, now a happily married family man. The writing seems to me to be a bit less breathless than some of her earlier writings, and although the coincidence near the end of the story somewhat contrived, still a very pleasant read and not too sentimental for a love story.

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