Tuesday 12 December 2017

Review: Fiction: Magnolia Park by Kate McCabe

Poolbeg, €15.99
Available with free P&P on www.kennys.ie or by calling 091 709350

Best-selling author Kate McCabe, a former journalist, began her career as a novelist in 2005 with Hotel Les Flores which was a major hit and she followed that with several more holiday-themed books. Her new one continues the winning formula.

Magnolia Park is an idyllic resort on the Costa del Sol and the holiday destination of average young woman Amy Crawford and her partner Sam Benson. Their previously blissful relationship is starting to flounder and Amy fervently hopes that this holiday will restore them to previous happiness.

Sam is a successful advertising executive and, until recently, Amy considered herself lucky to have snared such a catch.

But when his career hits a rough patch, Sam starts to take her for granted and she finds herself regretting her decision to move into his luxurious Sutton penthouse in Dublin.

One of the residents of the Spanish idyll, Magnolia Park, is an older lady named Betty. Married for 34 years to the successful but dull Alf, she spends most of her time in Spain and is quite content there without her spouse.

Her son Josh visits regularly and a sub-plot develops as he becomes increasingly alarmed by the suave and genial Nigel Smyth, a retired English businessman.

Betty is a kindly soul and takes an interest in the young Irish couple, sensing that all is not as it should be. A friendship develops between the two women as their personal lives begin to unravel.

When Sam is called back to Dublin to deal with a difficult client, Amy finds herself alone in the Spanish sun with time to confront the reality of their relationship and the rocky future that lies ahead.

This is the time of year that many of us head off to the sun armed with sunscreen and a couple of good reads. This is one to take with you.

Sensitively written and acutely observed, Magnolia Park will lift your spirits and warm your heart.

MAIREAD BYRNE

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