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Looking for the Durrells by Melanie Hewitt
Many thanks to both NetGalley and to Harper Collins UK/HarperInspire for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of Looking for the Durrells.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I loved the setting especially, and it evoked memories of Corfu. I think it’s been beautifully written whilst also addressing the difficult topic of bereavement.
I liked the way the story stayed firmly in England for the prologue, and then spent the rest of the book in another country. And being a Durrell fan myself (I watched both of the serialisations on telly), I also liked the links between 1930s Corfu and present-day Corfu.
There are some niggles, all constructive, I hope, but they didn’t spoil the story for me.
For example, I did get a bit confused in a couple of places where, in particular, there was some rather sudden head-hopping.
There were also too many names that were too similar: Theo/Tess (and there were two Theos); Ryan/Rich; Spiro, Spiro and (possibly a third) Spiro; and Nic, Nico and Niko. And towards the end, the characters of Penny and Tess were mixed up a little.
There was some repetition, mostly about why Penny was in Corfu, but she also explained to Dimitris three times about the Durrell thing. And there were a couple of info-dump chapters where the information could have been quite easily conveyed in a conversation.
There was a small continuity thing in that she watched some fireflies at the beginning of her visit, but didn’t know what they were until she’d been there for three weeks and watched them again.
And I found the last chapters a little drawn out and then suddenly, the book ended abruptly.
However, it’s a nice story in a nice setting and is certainly competently written.