In the hilltop villa with its spectacular views across rolling countryside to the straits of Gibraltar, Lucy anxiously waits the arrival of her brother and sister.
They're spending the weekend together to say farewell to Casa de Suenos, the house in the mountains of southern Spain where they grew up.
Her sister, Jo, landing at the airport with her fractious four year old, dreads the prospect of this time with her family which will fulfil their mother's last instructions that they celebrate her birthday party together. Only this time their mother won't be there.
Tom, their brother, remembers the chaos of his bohemian upbringing and wants nothing more than for their stay to go off without a hitch, Then a beautiful face from his past appears at the villa ...
Over one long, hot weekend, past secrets will spill out, making the siblings question themselves, the choices they've made and where their future lies in this gorgeous new novel from Fanny Blake.
House of Dreams was published in paperback by Orion on 5 November 2015. I'm fairly new to Fanny Blake's writing, only discovering her books for the first time earlier this year. I've read and reviewed With A Friend Like You and What Women Want and enjoyed both of them very much. I was really looking forward to House of Dreams, and am delighted to say that it's another wonderful read from this very talented author.
Lucy, Jo and Tom. Siblings who are meeting for a long weekend at their childhood home in southern Spain. They are gathering together to celebrate their mother, Hope's birthday .... and to scatter her ashes. This will be their last weekend in Casa de Suenos, their own House of Dreams, before she died Hope made it clear that she wanted them to sell the house. This weekend will be spent remembering the happy times, it will also be a painful reminder that their vibrant and loving mother is no longer with them. It will be a celebration, but it will also be a memorial.
Fanny Blake excels in creating huge and colourful charismatic characters, the reader is soon absorbed into their lives, identifying with their little quirks and empathising with their sorrows. This weekend uncovers many long-hidden secrets for the family, turning their memories of Hope upside down and also helping them all to discover more about themselves and want they want from life.
Although Hope dies before the story begins, she is the largest of the characters within this story. She's a little eccentric and different, sometimes selfish and unaware, but always the centre of the room. Parts of her colourful character are replicated in each of her children. The story takes place over just a few days and the author cleverly exposes each character, the reader will change their initial opinion of each of them as their inner vulnerabilites and worries are revealed.
Fanny Blake explores serious themes in a most compelling way, she adds a dash of humour and creates a setting that is so sunny and warm and inviting. As in her previous novels, the female characters take centre stage and Fanny Blake always makes sure that her readers know that woman can still be fabulous, at any age.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.
Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction, before becoming a freelance journalist and writer.
She has written various novels and non-fiction titles, acted as a ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is also Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine.
Find out more at www.fannyblake.co.uk
Check out her Author page on Facebook FannyBlakeBooks
Follow her on Twitter @FannyBlake1