- Paperback: 474 pages
- Genre: Romantic Fiction
- Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton 2004 – This edition Hodder Paperback 2007.
- Source: Purchased Oxfam Bookshop in UK
- Review Quote: ‘Santa is the new Rosamunde Pilcher’ Victoria Mather, Daily Mail.
- My Opinion : The above quote is spot on I think especially as Rosamunde Pilcher retired from writing in 2000.
I first took an interest in this author’s writing in 2001 when her first novel Meet Me Under The Umbo Tree was published. I went on to read the next two as they were released The Butterfly Box and The Forget Me Not Sonata. It was another five years before any more of her books came my way when in 2008 I read two more of her novels Last Voyage of the Valentina and The Gypsy Madonna. With this latest one it seems I am still only half way through her novels. I have two more on my TBR bookshelf and do not think it will be long before I read them as they are the perfect type of novels for summer afternoons reading in the shade.
The setting is England and the Argentine, starting just after the end of WWII when George Bolton returns home to Frognal Point a quiet seaside village in Devon. The sweetheart he left behind before the war, Rita Fairweather has waited patiently for his return, expecting their relationship to continue from where it left off. George though is no longer the boy who went off to war and became a Spitfire pilot, he finds himself unable to settle back into his previous way of life. He decides that he needs to get away for awhile to get over his wartime experiences and departs again to spend a year with relations in Argentina. Rita although disappointed resolves to wait for him in Devon as she feels unable to go with him if they are not yet married. Would you wait for ever for the love of your life? This is what happens to Rita as she keeps her promise to George, he however finds a different life that he enjoys and it is ten years before he returns to England again.
The Swallow and The Hummingbird was Santa’s fourth novel to be published back in 2005, the year after we left the UK to live in Italy so I somehow missed obtaining a copy until I found one at the end of last year. It is three years since I have read one of her novels but this was just as I expected it to be a richly woven tale with a large cast of characters and lots of vivid detail. Recommended for all lovers of romantic fiction, especially fans of Rosamunde Pilcher.
Santa Montefiore was a guest at The Royal Wedding last week so for an author photo I decided to share this one of her on the left and in the blue her sister Tara Palmer Tomkinson.
Santa Montefiore was born Santa Palmer Tomkinson on February 2nd 1970. After studying Spanish and Italian at Exeter University, she went to Argentina, where she spent much of the nineties. She now lives in London with her husband, writer and historian Simon Sebag Montefiore
and two daughters. Her family have been close friends of The Prince of Wales for over three decades.
The following extract is taken from her own Official Website as she describes perfectly the sort of books she writes.
‘With my novels, I hope to carry you away to sunnier shores, while at the same time remind you of all that is wonderful about England. Above all, they are love stories, because love is more important to me than anything else. I hope you laugh and cry in equal measure, but most vitally, escape for a while’.
She has eleven published novels to date, the first one published in 2002 and the most recent will be published in July of this year.
- Meet Me Under The Ombu Tree(2001)
- The Butterfly Box (2002)
- The Forget-me-not Sonata (2003)
- The Swallow and the Hummingbird (2004)
- The Last Voyage of the Valentina (2005)
- The Gypsy Madonna (2006)
- Sea of Lost Love (2007)
- The French Gardener (2008)
- The Italian Matchmaker (2009)
- The Affair (2010)
- The Mermaid Garden(American title) The House By The Sea. (2011)
Biographical Information is courtesy of the following websites and from the paperback itself.
Wikipedia - Santa Montefiore
Goodreads - Santa Montefiore
Santa Montefiore Official Website
This is a short interesting video of Santa Montefiore talking about herself and her writing do watch if you have 3 minutes to spare.
Meet Author Santa Montefiore Thanks to 5Min.com