Chosen as one of the TOP TEN self-published books of 2015 by The Bookbag (www.thebookbag.co.uk)
AWARDED A PLACE ON THE AWESOME INDIES LIST OF QUALITY INDEPENDENT FICTION January 2016
Passionate, free-spirited Deborah has finally found peace and a fulfilling relationship in her adopted city of Granada but when she is seriously injured in the Madrid train bombings of 2004, it is her sister Alice who is forced to face the consequences of a deception they have maintained for ten years. At Deborah’s home in Granada, she waits, ever more fearful. Will her sister live or die? And how long should she stay when each day brings the risk of what she most dreads, a confrontation with Deborah’s Moroccan ex-lover, Hassan? At stake is all she holds dear…
Publication date 23rd April 2015. Available as paperback or e-book from http://www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk. or by clicking on any of the links below.
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Secrets of the Pomegranate is one of those books that held my interest from the first page with what was literally an explosive start! Centred around the effects of the Madrid bombings, this harrowing tale of family secrets and the unconditional love of family makes for at times a harrowing and sad tale of two very different sisters whose love for one another rescues them both in very different but at the same time similar ways. The secret they share must be protected but at what cost?
This book is rich in interesting characters from different cultural backgrounds who add a wealth of colour and dimensions to this book. Barbara Lamplugh has painted such a vivid picture of Spain that the reader is instantly transported there. Hell, I even bought some pomegranates! Told from the perspectives of Alice and Mark, Deborah’s son, I liked how each saw Deborah’s situation and the emotions that each felt around what had happened to Deborah. We gain an insight into Deborah’s life in Spain through diary entries and gain a greater understanding into just what sort of woman Deborah was and I loved her spirit, strength and courage. But there’s also a vulnerable side to Deborah too and like Alice, the reader is given a glimpse into the ‘other’ Deborah. I just loved this beautifully written book and simply could not put it down. And, I’m not afraid to admit that the raw emotions in the book reduced me to a blubbering idiot. Highly recommended.
J B Johnston, Brook Cottage Books, http://www.brookcottagebooks.blogspot.co.uk
This is an ideal novel for anyone visiting Spain. I read it while In Andalucia, and the description of Granada (which, after all, means pomegranate) and of Spanish life could only have been written by someone living in the country and in love with it, as is the narrator (and author). Complex and fascinating interplay of different narrative strands and characters, very well written, with compelling dialogue. It taught me a lot about people, politics, relationships, place, and made me want to turn back to the beginning when I’d finished to see how cleverly it had been done. A beautiful novel, which deserves to be better known.
Can I just say how beautiful and intriguing the cover of this book is. This is Barbara’s first published novel which is set in Granada. The story is very well written, and well thought out, I couldn’t put it down. It was very well paced but with enough anticipation to keep you hooked. The characters were interesting and I loved all the descriptions about Granada. I just wish I was there reading this book it would be spectacular. I really enjoyed the story.
This book literally started off with a BANG. I so love it when books open and they just grab you by the short and curly’s straight away as this one did.
I was fascinated by the title, so looked at the blurb and I am pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this book.
Its very well crafted, very well thought out. Leads you nicely along each pathway.
I have had the so much pleasure this year in reading a lot of debut novels, this one being another one. I have to say, the ones I have been reading has been outstanding. Its a hard market to get into, and this author is certainly one to keep an eye on.
She has great skills, written very well, paced very well, and just enough anticipation to keep you turning pages.
There are little reveals along the way, the author is very clever in pacing those…..
the revelations are awesome in that you don’t expect it.
Very good book. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sue Ward http://sueandherbooks.blogspot.co.uk
The fact this book is written around the 2004 Spanish train crash, for me, made it almost seem as if the characters were real. They drew you in from the beginning, Deborah older, flamboyant, arty sister living in her adopted city of Granada and Alice the sensible, practical one in the UK. Both are single parents with sons. Deborah’s son 20 year old Mark is from her marriage to Charlie, a man who is more interested in making money than his only son. Mark has problems of his own and the story is told through his and Alice’s eyes.
Alice and her son Timmy, arrive in Spain following the crash. Deborah is in a coma, her partner Paco grief stricken; the prognosis does not look good. Alice has an urgent task. She needs to find her sister’s diaries before anyone else finds them and discovers the dark secret they both share. The story is beautifully told, with the flashbacks in the form of Deborah’s diary entries. Another dimension is added to the story as we hear of the release from prison of Hassan, an ex-partner of Deb’s. A man who caused her a great deal of trouble. I loved the story’s structure, as past and present come together through Deborah’s diary entries. And Barbara’s description of Spanish life, the cafes, the markets are so well done you almost feel you are there. A splendid read.
Jo Lambert, http://www.jolambertbooks.com
A beautifully crafted first novel. The story unfolds slowly but surely making it hard to put this book down which is refreshing. Each of the characters, including Deborah trapped in her coma and portrayed through her journal writing, was convincing. This is writing by someone who understands people. I could find no wasted words; the dialogue, the writing in the journal and the cleverly observed backdrop of Granada’s old city and surrounding hills all add to the story and intrigue.
This book has one of the best openings I’ve read in a long while and immediately grabbed my attention. Add a long-held family secret to the mix and this is compulsive reading. Although I guessed Deborah’s secret long before we were told, there were sufficient hints after all and it didn’t spoil my enjoyment, despite the fact that it would have been very difficult to actually pull it off.
The author captures the real Granada with all its undercurrents, racism, mistrust and kindness too. This deals with relationships on all levels, between sisters, mother and son, inter-racial and I enjoyed every minute of this book despite knowing that I was also going to shed a few tears. Very moving, well-written and has put Granada to the top of my ‘to visit’ list.
Julie Ryan, http://www.allthingsbookie.com