300 Days of Sun – Deborah Lawrenson
“I HAVE NOW MISSED MY TRAIN STATION TWICE BECAUSE OF THIS BOOK.” – Phil
Combining the atmosphere of Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins with the intriguing historical backstory of Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train, Deborah Lawrenson’s mesmerizing novel transports readers to a sunny Portuguese town with a shadowy past—where two women, decades apart, are drawn into a dark game of truth and lies that still haunts the shifting sea marshes.
Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. Faro is an enchanting town, and the seaside views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But behind the crumbling facades of Moorish buildings, Joanna soon realizes, Faro has a seedy underbelly, its economy compromised by corruption and wartime spoils. And Nathan has an ulterior motive for seeking her company: he is determined to discover the truth involving a child’s kidnapping that may have taken place on this dramatic coastline over two decades ago.
Joanna’s subsequent search leads her to Ian Rylands, an English expat who cryptically insists she will find answers in The Alliance, a novel written by American Esta Hartford. The book recounts an American couple’s experience in Portugal during World War II, and their entanglements both personal and professional with their German enemies. Only Rylands insists the book isn’t fiction, and as Joanna reads deeper into The Alliance, she begins to suspect that Esta Hartford’s story and Nathan Emberlin’s may indeed converge in Faro—where the past not only casts a long shadow but still exerts a very present danger.
Deborah Lawrenson spent her childhood moving around the world with diplomatic service parents, from Kuwait to China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore. She read English at Cambridge University and worked as a journalist in London.
She is the author of eight novels and her writing is praised for its vivid sense of place. The Art of Falling was a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick in 2005. The Lantern was published to critical acclaim in the USA, chosen for the Channel4 TV Book Club in the UK and shortlisted for Romantic Novel of the Year 2012.
She divides her time between rural Kent and a crumbling hamlet in Provence, the atmospheric setting for The Lantern.
Her most recent novel is 300 Days of Sun, which is set in Portugal and has been selected as a Great Group Read for the WNBA National Reading Group Month in October 2016 in the USA.
“This is a story with many parts, overlaying wartime Portugal and spycraft, with the hint of criminality past and present, elements of psychological thriller and a mystery – and also a beautifully crafted romance with layers of subtle complexity.” – LP Kent