1 August 2013

Book Review: Swimming Pool Summer by Rebecca Farnworth

"Frankie hasn't had a proper relationship for years. But though she tells everyone this is how she wants it, secretly she's in love with her best friend Patrick.

Tor didn't think she could have a baby, but now she is pregnant by her younger lover. Could this mean the end of a romance that has started to mean more to her than she expected?

Leila seems to have it all - a happy marriage, a beautiful daughter and a successful career. But Leila is harbouring a secret that could destroy her marriage forever.

On an idyllic Greek island, the three women try to keep their secrets hidden. But emotions are running high, and when an unexpected guest arrives, events start to spin out of control."

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Swimming Pool Summer as a paperback or an eBook now.

Most people may know Rebecca Farnworth best for her work as Katie Price's ghostwriter, a job she does very well although I have to say those books really aren't my cup of tea anymore. Rebecca did release a couple of books under her own name a couple of years ago, but now she is back with a new summer read, and I was really excited to try it and see whether or not this would be something I could enjoy. The cover makes it look like the perfect summer read, and I was wishing I could be sat next to a glorious pool as I was reading! I'm pleased to say I really enjoyed the book, and it makes me look forward to more of Rebecca's books.

Three women, friends for years, have finally managed to get their acts together and are all heading off on a Greek holiday, families in tow. There's perpetually single Frankie, a teacher who seems a bit cold and hard-hearted but is hiding a painful secret that has changed her outlook on life forever. Married Leila looks like she has it all, a loving husband and a gorgeous young daughter. But Leila is hiding something that threatens to spoil everything she holds dear, and she doesn't know how much longer she can keep it to herself. Finally, there's Tor, who is dating a younger man called Ed, which does make her feel insecure at times and wondering if it's the right life path for her. When she unexpectedly finds herself pregnant, she's sure her younger man will run for the hills, but she doesn't want to lose him. The women are hoping a holiday in the sun will help solve all their problems, but will it all end happily for each of them?

Right from the start of this book, I really enjoyed it. I loved each of the characters, and that was because they were really believable normal women. The women are not perfect, they have all made mistakes and are struggling to live with the consequences of what happened, but I liked them for that. My favourite of the group had to be Frankie. She does seem hard and uncaring, but later in the book, the reasons for her behaviour are explained and it all starts to make sense, you certainly do feel sympathetic towards her when you realise what she has been through. I also liked Tor, she's pregnant which makes her happy but she's sure her much younger lover will not want the responsibility, again a believable storyline. I felt sorry for her, she was longing to tell someone her news but has to keep it all built up inside her, I really wanted her to have a happy ending.

The best thing about the book for me though was the surprise entrance of another female character, a young woman called Candy. The women all judge her based on her appearance, but as the book goes on, we can see there is a lot more to her than meets the eye. It certainly shows we can't judge people on how they look, but we do too easily make assumptions on people just as Frankie in particular does here. The holiday setting was gorgeous, and sounded like a little bit of heaven on earth. Everything from the luxurious villa they stay in to the local tavern they eat at sounds perfect, and the descriptions of it make it come alive in your head as you're reading, I have to say I was jealous of the women when I was reading this! Yes, there is fun and sun, but there are some serious undertones in the book too, and I enjoyed how Farnworth balanced all of these stories.

Her writing is very easy to read, and the book flits between the stories perfectly, and it was very easy to follow. The stories were very interesting to read, and while it wasn't obvious as I was reading that it was all going to end with a happy ending for each of them, you certainly hope for it for Tor, Frankie and Leila. It's a fun read for the summer that is a nice way to spend a few hours in the sun devouring, and it'll certainly make you want to go on your own Greek holiday once you've finished reading. I really enjoyed the book, and it makes me look forward to more of Rebecca's books. With believable characters, good stories and a gorgeous setting, everything makes you want to keep reading this once you've started. If you've read Katie Price's books and enjoyed those, I'm sure you'll enjoy this too, but equally if you haven't, this book is a good place to start.

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