Author: Lily Malone
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher
Water Under the Bridge is the first book I have read by Lily Malone but it won’t be the last. It is also a book containing a funny little coincidence that I loved because I love finding my children’s names in books, even better when it’s a quirky nickname that needs to be explained to people.
There has been an awful lot of water under my word bridge since I finished this book and I think that’s really sad. I thoroughly enjoyed this book but I read it in March, and it’s now May. That means that there is very little chance my review is going to come close to doing justice to Malone’s writing.
Ella Davenport was a professional competitive swimmer in another life, but one mistake changed the entire trajectory of her life. This whole element of the story was quite mysterious and unfolded slowly over the course of the book. The actuality I found to be a little anticlimactic after all the hype, but the reasoning and the build-up did make sense. It was well written, sensitively handled and understandable but I think it just wasn’t what I had expected.
Not only did Ella stop competing but she stopped swimming, she stopped getting in the water at all. Years later she needs a change of scenery and a new career, so she picks real estate in the country town of Chalk Hill which is a long way inland and devoid of a community pool. The small town has a family owned and run real estate agent that agrees to give her a go but it can be a little tough to make headway in a small town with established property managers and not a lot of property changing hands.
Jake Honeychurch inherited a share of his nanna’s house and would love to keep it but is being pressured to sell. His solution is to list with the rookie real estate agent at an inflated price and disrupt all her open inspections. He didn’t count on her determination and persistence, or the developer with his extremely deep pockets.
This story has a little bit of mystery, a little bit of humour, a lot of small town community and a touch and go romance that sparks off the page.
Malone’s characters are witty, feisty and independent and I couldn’t help but connect with them. There was drama and Malone managed to illustrate the way we sometimes elevate celebrity, sporting or screen, and forget that these are real people. Sometimes we sit back to watch the next scandal play out, find out the gossip and forget about the real feelings of these people.
Malone has written an entertaining story and I really enjoyed Ella and Jake, what I enjoyed even more was discovering that Jake’s brother will also get their stories so we aren’t finished with Chalk Hill yet.
Water Under the Bridge is book #13 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2018.