Review – After The Honeymoon by Janey Fraser

By | September 15, 2014

How can one honeymoon cause so much trouble?

Much as Emma loves Tom, she would never have got married if he hadn’t insisted. But with Tom sick for the whole week, shouldn’t she at least take advantage of the entertainment?
Winston married Melissa after a three-month whirlwind romance. As a breakfast TV fitness star, he’s anxious to keep things private. But the arrival of Melissa’s two children soon puts paid to that.
Rosie arrived at the Villa Rosa homeless and pregnant when she was just seventeen. Now, sixteen years later, she runs the place. However, the appearance of Winston throws her into confusion. He might not remember her, but she has never forgotten him.
By the end of the week, none of their lives will be the same. But how will they cope after the honeymoon is over?

I always enjoy books that bring together a cast of characters, all with their own stories, in a particular location where we can watch them interact.  This is that kind of book, in the best tradition of Veronica Henry and Lucy Diamond, and it’s a really lovely read.

Your heart aches for Emma.  Her new husband Tom is a prat of the first order, spending his honeymoon in bed long after his travel sickness passes, on a Greek island when he doesn’t like the heat – and don’t we all, like Emma, drink a few too many and behave a little silly when we’re on holiday? She could be a younger version of any of us, but hopefully none of us would have made her life choices.  Winston and Melissa were slightly more one-dimensional early on – and not particularly likeable – but they fleshed out nicely as the novel progressed, as did their children from hell and Melissa’s obnoxious former husband.  Rosie is thoroughly lovely, as is her teenage son – I couldn’t quite understand her attraction to the Greek fisherman, but I guess we all have a bit of Shirley Valentine in us somewhere.  The Greek island setting is perfectly drawn, and the writing is really excellent, with the dialogue done especially well. There’s plenty of humour, but a few opportunities to shed a tear too. The “true honeymoon” quotes that started each chapter were a really lovely addition, with some real horror stories. 

I’ve recommended so many books for your sunlounger now that you’d really need a separate suitcase, but this book would really be a perfect choice.    A lovely light and enjoyable read – I loved it.     

After The Honeymoon was published by Arrow Books on 22 May: the copy I read was my own.

Janey Fraser always dreamed of writing novels in a country cottage with lots of children, a dog and a pony. Unbelievably, most of her dreams were answered although not without some rather large hiccups along the way!  After a career in women’s magazines interviewing celebrities like Julie Walters and Nigel Havers, Janey wrote several non-fiction books about childcare including ‘Tidy Your Room; How to get kids to do what you want’. Unfortunately, she has never quite succeeded in doing that with her own three. She has also written a series of children’s books, including ‘When Mum Was Little’ and ‘When Gran Was Little’.

Janey has appeared live on breakfast television, talking about her books, and has also been on numerous radio programmes including Woman’s Hour and The Learning Curve. She also writes short stories for magazines; runs writing courses; is a regular speaker at literary festivals.  Her recent hobby is belly dancing, much to the horror of her children. However, Janey firmly believes that embarrassing one’s offspring is a perk of the job.

Find out more about the author and her books on her website.