Evergreen Falls by Kimberley Freeman
Published: August 26th 2014 by Hachette Australia
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
1926: Violet Armstrong is one of the few remaining members of staff working at the grand Evergreen Spa Hotel as it closes down over winter. Only a handful of guests are left, including the heir to a rich grazing family, his sister and her suave suitor. When a snowstorm moves in, the hotel is cut off and they are all trapped. No one could have predicted what would unfold. When the storm clears they must all keep the devastating secrets hidden.
2014: After years of putting her sick brother’s needs before her own, Lauren Beck leaves her home and takes a job at a Blue Mountains cafe, the first stage of the Evergreen Spa Hotel’s renovations. There she meets Tomas, the Danish architect who is overseeing the project, and an attraction begins to grow. In a wing of the old hotel, Lauren finds a series of passionate love letters dated back to 1926, alluding to an affair – and a shocking secret.
If she can unravel this long-ago mystery, will it make Lauren brave enough to take a risk and change everything in her own life?
Inspired by elements of her grandmother’s life, a rich and satisfying tale of intrigue, heartbreak and love from the author of the bestselling Lighthouse Bay and Wildflower Hill.
This was my June Lit-Cube subscription book, “Roaring 20’s” themed.
“She loved him, too. Mad as it seemed, she loved him, too, and had sine their eyes met that evening in the dining room.”
For the most part I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed Lauren’s timeline a little bit more than the 1926 one. Lauren’s relationship with her family was very relatable, and I enjoyed seeing her finally stand up for herself and get away from her mother. Out of all of the characters in the book, Lauren grew the most and really became a strong, independent person.
“Love was a thunderbolt, crashing down on her with its brilliant, savage force. It was ancient and eternal and it peeled back the mundane layers of the world and showed her the wet, beating heart of reality beneath.”
I did not enjoy all of the cliches that kept popping every other chapter. For instance, almost every new relationship in the story was an insta-love. Violet and Sam’s relationship was most likely the most annoying one in the entire book. Sam was a very weak, one-dimensional character and as the love interest for Violet, we didn’t really get a sense of who Sam is. Lauren’s relationship with Tomas while sort of insta-love, it wasn’t as annoying as the Violet and Sam’s. For one, Lauren didn’t lose herself in the relationship and actually grew as a character because of it. Although Tomas is just sort of a filler character that helps Lauren grow, he was a lot more likable than Sam as a love interest.
“But she knew what came next.”
The mystery aspect was very appealing when reading the blurb, and it was one of the main reasons why I decided to read this book. I wish the book spent a little bit more time trying to solve the mystery, than going back to Violet’s timeline and letting us see the mystery unfold that way. The “mystery” was also very easy to figure out early in the book and all of the plot twists could be seen way before it ever happened. Even though it was predictable, I liked how Freeman incorporated the two storylines together at the end. The ending went by a lot quicker than the whole book, and I wished there was more.
“Passionately. Once she had thought the word described something different. Something fast and hot, like lightening. Now, she realizes, passion is a deep well, ancient and fathomless.”
Overall, while the book moved a bit too slowly for my liking, I did enjoy it. I wouldn’t say it was a quick read, as I was flipping constantly to see how many pages I had left, but I would suggest at least giving it a chance. So if you like historical fiction mixed in with modern fiction with a hint of female empowerment, then you’ll enjoy this book.