Review – Magnolia Park by Kate McCabe

By | November 10, 2013

From Amazon:

With its flower-filled gardens, splashing fountains and sundrenched pool, Magnolia Park is an idyllic holiday complex in Fuengirola on the Spanish Costa del Sol.

Into this stunning setting comes Amy Crawford and her partner Sam Benson, one of the most sought-after men in Dublin before Amy hooked him. But their relationship is heading for disaster and, once their holiday is over, she plans to confront the self-satisfied Sam and demand that he change his ways.

Meanwhile Sam has problems of his own in his job as an advertising executive. He has just completed a lucrative advertising campaign but the client isn’t happy and is threatening to take the contract elsewhere.

Amy strikes up a friendship with long-term resident, Betty Parsons, who is undergoing a reappraisal of her strange marriage of thirty-four years. Betty’s son Josh is reeling after the break-up of a love affair and is also concerned about his mother’s blossoming friendship with Nigel Smyth, a charming retired Englishman.

Strange things can happen in the Spanish sun, as Amy will discover before her holiday is over.

I’m so pleased I discovered Kate McCabe’s books – she’s the perfect antidote to cold, dark evenings with her vividly drawn sun-drenched settings.  Her light and easy writing style makes her books perfect for the end of a long day when you really just want to be whisked away and not have to make too much effort.  When I came to the end of this one, I felt like I’d been on a short holiday.  I’ve joined Amy for her early morning swim and breakfast on the terrace, been on day trips to Mijas Seville and Granada (by bus and car), eaten at reasonably priced restaurants and a few better ones (and, should I visit, I’ll know what to choose on the menus), and I even know where the shop is that sells English teabags.  Magnolia Park itself is vividly drawn – just the sort of place I’d like to stay, and I was quite disappointed that it’s obviously an invention as I can’t find a website!

The storyline is a teeny bit predictable, but it really didn’t matter. Amy and Betty felt like my friends by the time I reached the end, Josh is suitably gorgeous, and I loved Betty’s growing relationship with Nigel.  It really was a thoroughly enjoyable read, filled with sunshine and with the loveliest of endings.  
Magnolia Park was published by Poolbeg Press in May 2012, and is available in paperback and for Kindle.  I’d highly recommend some of her earlier books too – I particularly liked Hotel Las Flores, The Beach Bar and Casa Clara.  Her latest, The Man of her Dreams, was published in paperback in October 2013, and is also available for Kindle.