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I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Before dawn, the air smelled of lemons.”
This book is so beautifully written that it should come with a warning. It will make you laugh, cry, and feel angry all at the same time. I had looked at this book a few times, but when one of my favorite authors (Wally Lamb) said that this was one of the best books he had read this year, I knew I had to read it.
Julia is mourning the loss of her daughter from a car accident five years ago. She has pretty much been holed up in her house since then. She agrees to house sit for her aunt on the other side of the country at her sprawling estate. There she encounters Roberto, the man who is the manager of the lemon orchard at the estate. Roberto also lost his daughter trying to cross the border in the Arizona dessert. Their slow developing relationship breathes life back in to Julia. They bond over knowing loss and pain, and begin to have hope again for happiness after knowing only sadness for so long Julia is determined to help Roberto, but she may have to sacrifice her own fleeting happiness in order to do so.
Every line of this book is so well written, that you feel as if you can actually smell the lemons and the California ocean breeze. Every emotion is so raw and real that you cannot help but love and relate to these characters. You are pulling for Roberto and Julia to find some sort of happiness through all the pain and misery they have been through. There are some heavy subjects that are main plot points throughout this book, death of a child, immigration laws. Whatever your feelings on the subject are, it will make you take pause and think about things in a different light.
This book stayed with me for quite some time after I had finished. By far one of the most moving books I have ever read. This was my first Luanne Rice book, but certainly not my last.
5 stars and a Lemon Drop Martini! Enjoy!
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.