Sunday, 24 April 2016

Book Review - My Map of You by Isabelle Broom

Amazon UK
Title: My Map of You
Author: Isabelle Broom
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: 21st April 2016
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother's death, she's become expert at keeping people at a distance - including her boyfriend, Rupert.

But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart.

But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?

I had been mildly apprehensive when I saw this book was set in Zakynthos, due to having worked there for 3 months before being removed from my job. I had managed to avoid that particular island in real life and fiction since, but was looking forward to reading My Map of You. I'm so glad I put my fears behind me, as all this book did was bring back my better memories of my time on the island, including visiting some places that I had forgotten until I saw the place names in the book. 

A lof of Holly's initial sight seeing struck such a chord with me, as I had also visited the sights of Zante and I laughed in recognitions of the description of Laganas, being exactly what I thought of the place. For those that don't know the island. Laganas is the main nightlife town, with all the night clubs, and Club 18-30 culture, with the hen and stag night crowd liking it too. Thankfully Holly didn't spend much time there, and neither had I. 

Due to the memories and personal connection to the location, it is very hard for me to judge the book completely objectively. I loved the story, and of course the destination is stunning, and the descriptions of Zante were accurate. 

I'm glad to see that the Caretta Caretta (Turtles) were mentioned quite a bit, due to Turtle Island, and that also the stray cat and dog problem was also touched upon, with Holly's next door neighbour in the village being a vet, as well as an incredibly handsome man. 

The mannerisms of the Greek restaurant owners, PR people, and others working in tourist areas were so familiar to me, and probably of anyone who has visited Greece. Trying to teach someone the occasional word of Greek also rang true, and it didn't take too long for the 4 or 5 words of Greek  I knew to come back to me reading this. 

The story itself is one of self discovery for Holly, as she is left a house by an aunt she didn't know she had, and had suffered tragedy herself in her young life. She's in an unfulfilling relationship, and only takes the trip to the island in order to sell the house. She doesn't expect to experience the feelings of deja vu that she got, nor that she would want to know more about her aunt and mum. 

At the end of each chapter, there is a message from one sister to the other, telling the basics of their relationship since the apparent relationship, which just led to my own curiosity as to what had torn them apart, and who was presumably to blame. 

There was loads of keep me reading, not least my clear love of the island, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page of My Map of You. This is a very accomplished debut novel and I'm already looking forward to Isabelle Broom's next releases. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Michael Joseph for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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