Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

It has been five years since Julia visited her aunt and uncle in Malibu, California, during those absent years she has been devastated by the deaths of her teenage daughter and her estranged husband. Now she accepts an invitation to housesit, at the beautiful red-tile roofed colonial nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. She welcomes the time with her aging dog, Bonnie, in this peaceful atmosphere while her relatives in are in Ireland, but doesn't reckon on discovering a mutual attraction with the handsome Mexican man, Roberto, who faithfully tends the lemon orchard. 

Roberto has experienced his share of sorrows too, including a literally lost daughter. Six-year-old Rosa vanished during an illegal border crossing. Julia becomes determined to reunite the grieving father with his little girl, but will their reunion mean that she will lose her new-found love?

I had never read a book by this author before, though I understand she is quite popular and prolific, the title grabbed me at a time when I had lemons on my mind. I love the scent of lemons, it's one of the few things I find that successfully soothes my sinuses without making me feel like a zombie in lead shoes with a sopping wet cotton ball for a brain the way most sinus and allergy medications do. But back to the book...this was a bittersweet read with an ending that isn't really an ending; it leaves you dangling, possibly so the reader can envision whatever they would like most.

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