Monday, March 21, 2022

Book review of The Villa by Clare Boyd

French Village Diaries book review The Villa Clare Boyd
The Villa by Clare Boyd

The Villa by Clare Boyd 


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…

A heartbreaking and totally addictive page-turner about motherhood at its best, and its worst, and the lies we tell to protect the ones we love. Anyone who adores Liane Moriarty, Jodi Picoult and Kerry Fisher will stay up all night reading.


French Village Diaries book review The Villa Clare Boyd
The Villa blog tour

My review

Wow, this book packs a punch of emotions that left my head reeling.


When Nora treats her daughters and grandchildren to a summer holiday to remember – a fortnight in a luxury villa in the south of France, none of them realise her reasons for doing so, or how her secret is going to change them and their relationships forever. This is a difficult book to review because I really don’t want to give anything away – it is one of those reads where it’s best you fall headfirst into the shocks and emotions as the story unfolds.


This extended family with their complex relationships gives us lots of lovely characters to get to know, all very different and all with their own issues and secrets. While Libby is dreamy, her older sister Emma is organised and controlling, and their partners Conner and Patrick are also equally different. The drama that is about to unfold will test both their relationships and sisterly bond, and not everything will survive. Nora thinks she is in control of the situation, but as always in life, we can never fully imagine how those around us are going to react, no matter how prepared we are in our heads. 


I would describe them as a perfectly flawed family, and it was the intrigue around how and when things would come to a head that kept me turning the pages. Unusually, despite their secrets, lies and differences, I warmed to them all, flaws and all and found myself worrying about them, even those whose actions were meant to shock. 


This book does deal with some sensitive emotional issues where decisions that are made, are those that some people won’t agree with. I surprised myself by not being as shocked as I imagined, probably because of the skilful way that Clare Boyd introduces the topics and lets them play out in the book. I found this gave me more of an understanding of their point of view, rather than just an initial shock reaction.


It might not be an uplifting summer holiday read, but it was one that I enjoyed and gave me lots to think about. If there was one thing that stuck in my mind at the end it was bravery, and although I can’t say too much more, I think all three of the women proved their bravery at some point during the book.

With the UK kindle version currently only 99p, if you are looking for something different this summer, The Villa is ready and waiting for you.


French Village Diaries book review The Villa Clare Boyd
The Villa by Clare Boyd

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French Village Diaries book review The Villa Clare Boyd
Clare Boyd


Author Bio


Clare 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.


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