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08 October 2014

Kimberley Freeman: Evergreen Falls

Blue Mountains - past and present
The star of this book IMHO isn't the story but the place - the Blue Mountains which are only a short drive from Sydney that takes you from a bustling metropolis to a unique environment of majestic gums, soaring rock formations and deep valleys and gorges with tumbling waters. The views are fantastic with the distance covered in a misty-blue greenness that gives the area its name.

The place also has had a different focus for different generations. In the 1920's it was a place to go for annual holidays with huge spa hotels for the wealthy. Over the years it lost its popularity as air travel took us to more exotic places. But from the 1980's the magic of the mountains was rediscovered by new generations looking for short breaks, and retreats for workplace team-building. The old hotels were redeveloped and new resorts were built, bringing people back to the magic of the mountains, and especially the changing environment with the seasons.

The story starts in the present with the restoration of one of the majestic old hotels.  During the renovation Thomas and Lauren finding a cache of passionate and candid love letters from someone called SHB to a woman he loves and desires. The story then moves back to 1926 when a snowstorm traps hotel maid Violet Armstrong and a handful of remaining guests. What happens then creates some devastating secrets that are kept hidden through the oncoming years as the hotel falls into disrepair. Thomas and Lauren follow these secrets as their attachment grows.

Kimberley Freeman weaves this dual time narrative pretty seamlessly to make an enjoyable book with romances in both times and of course the timeless nature of the Blue Mountains looking on.

Review posted by MonicaD. Thanks to The Reading Room and the publisher for a copy of this book for review.

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