Combining the atmosphere of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins with the intriguing historical backstory of Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train, Deborah Lawrenson’s mesmerizing novel transports readers to a sunny Portuguese town with a shadowy past — where two women, decades apart, are drawn into a dark game of truth and lies that still haunts the shifting sea marshes.
Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. Faro is an enchanting town, and the seaside views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But behind the crumbling facades of Moorish buildings, Joanna soon realizes, Faro has a seedy underbelly, its economy compromised by corruption and wartime spoils. And Nathan has an ulterior motive for seeking her company: he is determined to discover the truth involving a child’s kidnapping that may have taken place on this dramatic coastline over two decades ago.
Joanna’s subsequent search leads her to Ian Rylands, an English expat who cryptically insists she will find answers in The Alliance, a novel written by American Esta Hartford. The book recounts an American couple’s experience in Portugal during World War II, and their entanglements both personal and professional with their German enemies. Only Rylands insists the book isn’t fiction, and as Joanna reads deeper into The Alliance, she begins to suspect that Esta Hartford’s story and Nathan Emberlin’s may indeed converge in Faro — where the past not only casts a long shadow but still exerts a very present danger.
“With its lush settings, high-stakes suspense, and novel-within-a-novel, 300 Days of Sun delivers a labyrinth of complex relationships the reader is both breathless to solve and eager to return to upon completion. I lost sleep reading this fabulous, haunting novel.” — Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl and The House of Hawthorne
About the Author
Deborah Lawrenson is the author of eight novels. Since childhood she has travelled the world with her family at various times in Kuwait, China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore. She studied English at Trinity College, Cambridge (UK). Trained as a journalist on a weekly South London newspaper she has worked on several national newspapers and magazines.
Her latest novel, 300 Days of Sun is set in Portugal, opening on the Algarve coast around Faro. It’s another “vivid escape to an intriguing place” (as the Washington Post kindly said about The Lantern) and the story turns on the dark games of truth and lies played out when Lisbon was a center of espionage during the Second World War. Currently she divides her time between rural Kent, UK, and a crumbling hamlet in Provence, France, which is the atmospheric setting for The Lantern.
- Title: 300 Days of Sun: A Novel
- Author: Deborah Lawrenson
- Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
- Date of Publication: April 12, 2016
- Language: English
- Paperback: 384 pp.
- File Size: 2017 KB