The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley is a British novel about a boy finding out who his real father is.
0 out of 10 stars. This was boring; even by British standards it was painfully slow.
Alex, his mother Helena, and his sister Immy travel from England to Cypress to the castle she inherited from her godfather. The estate is called Pandora and it’s not really a castle. Relations are strained between his mother and his stepfather William. William is not Alex’s father and Alex feels this pain, but wants to make William happy to the point of ratting out his mother who is now being visited by a man named Alexis who she obviously had a previous relationship with. It doesn’t take him long to figure out that Alexis is probably his father. At the time his mother was sixteen and Alexis was eighteen. She was white; he was dark; and so it was never to be. Flash forward 24 years later and now that he’s widowed and she’s married, it appears they are ready to pick up their elicit affair.
This was the first novel I read by Lucinda Riley and it’s unfortunate that I was given four of them because this is not a style I like reading. The novel switches back and forth between chapters written by the adolescent/teenage Alex in his diary told in first person and chapters written by Helena told in third person. He sounds unrealistic and she sounds selfish and petty. The chapters go by extremely slowly with little to no movement. At 599 pages the author spends a lot of time noting the scenery, the daily movements of the family in every little thing they do, and yet manages to move the story along very little. I didn’t feel that I had any sense of Alexis at all. It was almost as if he was a caricature. An author can describe a character in more than his movements and appearance and dialogue, which in this novel was really unrealistic. Adults speak like adults, not like children, regardless of any language barriers. I found Helena annoying and petty and Alex a vengeful little twit who seemed much too eager to rat out his mom. Where did this loyalty to William come from? It certainly wasn’t built.
0 out of 10 stars. A very boring read, even by British standards.
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