Book & Author Details:
Title The Cherry House
Author C.J. Carlyon
Genre Contemporary romance
Length 154 pages. Available Kindle only.
“Two strangers destined to be lovers, making agreements without even speaking; two souls wordlessly making changes, making room, making space, in seconds, you could feel it.”
When Austen Soren returns home for the summer to the lush beautiful valley of her childhood it’s with the sense that she can be, will be, anything; accepted into the prestigious Writers’ Workshop her life is unfolding just as she planned.
Headstrong and impulsive, Austen’s world is upended the moment she meets Cashel Drai, the enigmatic owner of the storybook estate known throughout the village as The Cherry House. Cashel, devastating and damaged, loves her instantly but is held hostage by his past, falling backwards into its darkness and loss as Austen struggles with the experience of her first great love – at once desperate for him and desperate to be free of their wild longing.
As their relationship reopens the hearts – and wounds – of those closest to them can Austen hold on to the ambitions she has for her own life, is Cashel brave enough to let go of his past, and can they, together, fulfil the destiny that the quiet grave on The Cherry House estate whispered always; that forever is written upon them.
I wanted to love this book. I promise I did. I mean, look at the cover. It’s so elegant. And the synopsis effortlessly drew me in. And for a while, as I was reading it, I wondered if it was really a beautifully written book and I was just not getting it.
The conclusion I came to is this: whilst some may consider this to be beautiful, I thought that it was trying too hard. It felt, to me at least, to be a little pretentious and overblown and actually, a little soap opera-esque in the too-ing and fro-ing of the characters. I simply couldn’t fathom them, and the narrative voice really just needed to be a little bit less verbose.
I’m very conscious of the tone of this review. And I feel bad about that. But, lots of others like this book. It’s just not for me.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader copy of this book.
C.J. grew up in a very small town – just 800 people – leaving for boarding school when she was 15. Attending university she attained a law degree and an arts degree with honours, majoring in English. Instead of pursuing the law she was a newspaper columnist for more than 10 years.
The idea for her first novel, The Cherry House, struck long before the writing of it when travelling through the south of France she found, in a tiny store in St-Remy-de-Provence, a beautiful Provencal quilt covered with cherries. Unlike her protagonist, C.J. didn’t buy the cherry quilt.
She has never found another one like it.