How revenge might be a dish best served cold but how love is a dish that appears on the menu when you least expect it.
Story in a nutshell
School bullies plagued the life of Rachel Ford so years later, she returns home in order to exact her revenge as she promised al those years ago. She wants to do something about the bullies who not only ruined her childhood but her life and that of her family. She is now an art historian but has never forgotten what happened in Kilbrook.
Australian actor Finn MacKenzie is also in Kilbrook and he has come to help his aunt with a school production. He seems to have a charmed life, yet behind this façade there is a lot behind the scenes. He and Rachel meet and sparks fly.
But what does Rachel do? blow her cover so to speak and her reasons for being in Kilbrook or give it another chance. For Kilbrook does not hold happy memories and Finn stands in the middle of her plans.
Place and setting
How you would feel returning to the village where all your bad memories are and where you spent the most unhappiest times of your childhood is a key question as you can imagine how Rachel must feel when you find out what the bullies did to her. Revenge might not be the most recommended result in this case but as we read Rachel’s thoughts in her diary, things started to clear.
Kilbrook might have been such a nice place – more like the Kilbrook she returns to had there been some person to have sorted out the bullies and stood up to them. This brings home how bullies can and do affect people’s lives and this doesn’t always stop in the classroom. Whilst you can understand Rachel’s wish to return, we feared for her having carried around this hatred for years.And why were they not stopped sooner?
But Kilbrook also has a wealth of places you’ll want to visit for real as they have such rural and country names such as the Fat Pheasant restaurant and the Gulliver’s cafe, Bracken hill – all sound like landscapes and places that you’d need to visit for real – if only you could.
Finn is an actor from Australia who comes into this setting all innocent and meets Rachel without knowing her story. It’s the sense of waiting to see him find out and his reaction to it that takes you further into the story and the nice Irish locations.
There are some lovely touches of local customs and beliefs such as the Claddagh (symbolising love, loyalty and friendship). This is a ring but also “the shore”and is close to Galway city where the Corrib River meets the Galway Bay. Formerly a fishing village the Spanish Arch area was there the fish markets used to be.
The second book in the Emerald Isle series and I really think reading the first one is a must now since this was a good story to discover. Kilbrook and the Irish culture is always nice to hear about but the way in which a story of revenge and love was tied together in such an unassuming place was a nice touch and gave this ‘chick’lit’ novel edge. I actually hate the term chic lit and since this had some real dilemmas and questions in it, I’m loathe to give it such a title. This is romance of course but with Irish charm and I loved discovering where the bullies were now and how Rachel coped with meeting them years later.