The Olive Tree

The Olive Tree

eBook - 2016
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It has been twenty-four years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now crumbling house, 'Pandora', is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family. Yet, as soon as Helena arrives at 'Pandora', she knows that its idyllic beauty masks a web of secrets that she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of thirteen, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, desperate to learn the truth about his real father... When, by chance, Helena meets her childhood sweetheart, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora's secrets have been revealed...
Publisher: [London] : 2016. Macmillan,
ISBN: 9781925480481
Branch Call Number: REM
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Bolinda Digital BorrowBox

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Dec 26, 2018

Verbose and a lot of vomiting of backstory. Ugh.

Alex, his mother Helena, and his sister Immy travel from England to Cypress to the castle she inherited from her godfather. The estate is called Pandora and it's not really a castle. Relations are strained between his mother and his stepfather William. William is not Alex's father and Alex feels this pain, but wants to make William happy to the point of ratting out his mother who is now being visited by a man named Alexis who she obviously had a previous relationship with. It doesn't take him long to figure out that Alexis is probably his father. At the time his mother was sixteen and Alexis was eighteen. She was white; he was dark; and so it was never to be. Flash forward 24 years later and now that he's widowed and she's married, it appears they are ready to pick up their elicit affair.

This was the first novel I read by Lucinda Riley and it's unfortunate that I was given four of them because this is not a style I like reading. The novel switches back and forth between chapters written by the adolescent/teenage Alex in his diary told in first person and chapters written by Helena told in third person. He sounds unrealistic and she sounds selfish and petty. The chapters go by extremely slowly with little to no movement. At 599 pages the author spends a lot of time noting the scenery, the daily movements of the family in every little thing they do, and yet manages to move the story along very little. I didn't feel that I had any sense of Alexis at all. It was almost as if he was a caricature. An author can describe a character in more than his movements and appearance and dialogue, which in this novel was really unrealistic. Adults speak like adults, not like children, regardless of any language barriers. I found Helena annoying and petty and Alex a vengeful little twit who seemed much too eager to rat out his mom. Where did this loyalty to William come from? It certainly wasn't built.

A very boring read, even by British standards.

Jan 08, 2017

There's an old house in Cyprus over many years, a raft of family connections, a web of family secrets, blended families, endless complications and the diary of a 10 year old boy read through his grown-up eyes. Lucinda Riley is a great story-teller.

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