Monday, 27 July 2015

Review: Evergreen Falls by Kimberley Freeman

From internationally bestselling author Kimberley Freeman comes a captivating new novel about a scandalous attraction, a long-forgotten secret, and a place where two women’s lives are changed forever.

It’s 1926 and Violet Armstrong is a waitress at the grand Evergreen Spa Hotel, where Australia’s glitterati are spending a winter vacation. Among the guests who remain are Sam and Flora Honeychurch-Blacks, a wealthy brother and sister ensconced in the hotel for an extended stay. Violet and Sam have an attraction that is as passionate as it is forbidden as the hotel closes down for the winter season. When a snowstorm moves in, trapping them all, no one could have imagined what would unfold. The group must let their secrets be buried by the snow, but all snow melts, exposing the truth beneath…

Eighty-eight years later, Lauren Beck takes a job at a café in the Blue Mountains, built as the first stage of the Evergreen Spa Hotel’s return to grandeur. There she meets Tomas, the Danish architect overseeing the project. As their budding relationship grows, Lauren discovers a series of passionate love letters dating back to 1926 that allude to a whirlwind affair—and a tragic secret. Lauren begins to unravel this long-forgotten mystery, but will discovering the truth finally make her brave enough to take a risk that could change her entire life?

Inspired by elements of her grandmother’s life, Kimberley Freeman has created a complex tale of mystery, heartbreak, and love that will keep you guessing with every twist until the very last page.

Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Touchstone
Terri's Thoughts
**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Touchstone via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is August 4th 2015**

This was the second book that I have read by Kimberly Freeman.  The first one was several years ago when I read Wildflower Hill.  I enjoyed it immensely and therefore I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to read another one of her stories.

I was not disappointed.  This story delivered exactly what makes me favor this genre.

Normally I always prefer the storyline that takes place in the past.  This time around I enjoyed both the present and the past equally.  I think it was because there was just enough mystery within both storylines and the parallel similarities between the characters was noticeable.  Both Lauren and Violet were extremely naïve with the ways of the world and this impacted both of their stories.  Both were away from home for the first time trying to find their way in life.  Both wanted the experience of a passionate first love.  Both declared love after what felt like thirty seconds.

While Violets story was all about a passionate love affair, I did have a difficult time being swept up or swept away in the story of her and Sam.  I think this is because I am analyzing the story as the person I am, logical and knowledgeable, and not from Violet's perspective.  She was young, naïve and not very educated in the ways of the world.  I do feel that this was the whole point of the story.  The fact that she did not recognize or know addiction when she was faced with it set up the framework for what you know could not turn out very well.  So while I wasn't to stuck on Sam, I needed to know how this was going to turn out and I was in Violet's corner the whole way.

I was invested in Lauren's love story.  While she was thirty years old she read as a girl much younger than that.  I feel that this was intentional and was a result of her sheltered life due to her brothers illness and her mothers smothering.  Her journey of self discovery was as fascinating as watching the rest of the story unfold.

Yes I felt some aspects were a little unrealistic.  Both girls handed over their heart too early, anyone falling for Sam seemed impossible...but it didn't matter.  Packaging the whole story together it really worked.  The twist and turns were easy to see and guess but that also didn't matter.  This was a fascinating story and I really enjoyed it.  One of my favorite reads so far this year.

About the Author

Kimberley was born in London and her family moved back to Australia when she was three years old. She grew up in Queensland where she currently lives.

Kimberley has written for as long as she can remember and she is proud to write in many genres. She is an award-winning writer in children’s, historical and speculative fiction under her birth name Kim Wilkins. She adopted the pen name Kimberley Freeman for her commercial women’s fiction novels Duet and Gold Dust to honour her maternal grandmother and to try and capture the spirit of the page-turning novels she has always loved to read. Kim has an Honours degree, a Masters degree and a PhD from The University of Queensland where she is also a lecturer. She lives in Brisbane with her young family.



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