At BookTrib, we are constantly searching for the best ways to connect readers with writers, opening their eyes and worlds to fresh ideas! This is how we came across a wonderful group known as the Tall Poppies, who are not only avid readers, but extremely talented writers as well! This is the second installment of our weekly Tall Poppies book review series, and more are on the way!
Beautiful people, idyllic destinations, page-turning plots: it’s tempting to call Anita Hughes’ novels escapist. Of course, they are—but they also happen to be much more. I’ve been a fan of Hughes’ fiction since her debut, Monarch Beach; Hughes has a breezy way of writing that pulls you in from the first page, and even as her protagonists struggle to find their way in the midst of crisis, her storytelling has a way of making you feel all is right with the world. And by the time you reach the last chapter, it is.
In her latest, Emerald Coast, Hughes puts a fresh spin on a familiar topic: that leaving someone doesn’t necessarily stop you from loving him. Lily Bristol has just arrived at a luxury resort in Sardinia, where she’s opening one of her eponymous home furnishing boutiques. A plucky woman with a head for business and a heart for adventure, Lily’s recently divorced from her husband Oliver, a successful food critic. So when Oliver arrives at the same Sardinian resort—with a bubbly twenty-something companion in tow—Lily is aghast. A lesser writer may have mangled this meet (again)-cute, but Hughes effortlessly pulls it off.
As Lily and Oliver’s paths repeatedly cross, Hughes reveals how their marriage fell apart—and that in spite of the perks and promises of new love, neither feels settled about their decision to split. Amid stunning descriptions of sandy beaches and azure Mediterranean waters, I found myself reflecting on past relationships in a new way. And just when I thought I knew how Lily and Oliver’s tale would end, the story took an unexpected turn, culminating in the most satisfying way.
Like Hughes’ other novels, Emerald Coast is a delicious, candy-coated tome … that just happens to be good for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anita Hughes was born and grew up in Australia and began writing at the age of eight, when she won a national writing contest in The Australian newspaper. After being named “One of Australia’s Next Best Writers,” she went on to receive a BA in English literature and a Masters in Creative Writing. Her debut novel was Monarch Beach, released in 2012, and her writing career has kicked off from there.