The Villa by Clare Boyd

Published: March 17, 2022


Pages: 348

Genre: Psychological Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Clare Boyd lives with her husband and their two daughters in Surrey, where her little green shed at the bottom of the garden provides a haven for her writing life. Before becoming a writer, she enjoyed a career in television, as a researcher in documentaries, and then as a script editor in drama at the BBC and Channel Four, where her love of storytelling took hold.

One perfect family. Two weeks in the sun. A secret that will tear them apart.

Nora just wanted some time with her daughters, away from everything, in the stunning stone villa under the heat of the French sun. Lazy days by the pool, freckles appearing on tanned cheeks, laughter over cocktails on the terrace. She’s so proud of her girls. They might have their differences, but they’ve grown into confident, independent young women, with their own way of seeing things.

But when Nora gathers everyone around the table on that first night, she realises it’s time to tell them. And as she tops up her wine, her hand shakes. She knows nothing could have prepared them for what she’s about to say. But what she doesn’t know, is that hers is not the only secret…

“You only live once.”

Libby and Emma have always known their mother wasn’t like other mothers. She was eccentric, loving on her own terms, and unabashedly lived for herself. When their mother drops a surprise family vacation in their laps, they immediately know it is something more than just a dream holiday. It’s about confessing truths.

There was a genuine, raw element to this novel. The familial bond was genuine, with all the rifts and bumps exposed.

The characters were all so different. And it was interesting getting to know them. Nora loved her life for herself. As her daughters got older and had families of their own, she made space for those changes. But ultimately, Nora lived for Nora.

Emma has spent her life being responsible. She looked after her sister and, even as a child, understood that their mother wasn’t going to be the emotional safe space they needed.

Libby was so eager to have a connection and relationship with their mother that she would often forgive Nora for her shortcomings.

The pacing of this novel was slow, but each word was packed with feelings and emotion. This slow-burn revealed the truth, harbored wants, and released the past.

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