This novel begins with the wedding of Daniel and Tina after they have been together in a tempestuous relationship for 25 years. It is witnessed by the whole local community including old school-friends Linda and Victoria whose own marriages are disintegrating. From the moment that Daniel walks into the church in old torn jeans, covered in plaster, it looks as if this marriage is also on the rocks but is it just the curse of the hotel which Daniel has just taken over?
Cefn Cyfarwydd, Daniel’s hotel, is in a beautiful setting by a lake and he has restored it sympathetically. Jan Ruth’s description made me long to book in for the weekend and the food sounded delicious too! But Tina hates being buried “in the middle of nowhere” and she has health worries which she is hiding from Daniel. Linda’s husband has left her for a young Polish girl and Victoria’s respectable husband, Max, is a sadistic bully, behind closed doors.
The stage is set for life changing decisions by all the main characters, complicated by Daniel’s extended dysfunctional family, who provide humour and tragedy within the storyline. It would seem as though there can be no fairy-tale ending but the denouement is eminently satisfying. Another page-turner by Jan Ruth about passionate, real people.