#BookReview – In the Land of Milk and Honey by Nell ES Douglas @nellesdouglas @xpressotours
on 17th January 2018
Genres: Young Adult
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When Gabrielle “Bree” Valentine awoke in a hospital bed with a newborn baby, she centered herself and rebuilt. Bree didn’t think about her mental breakdown, lost memories, or the features of a stranger emerging daily in the face of the son she is raising alone. Five years later, on a weekend in the Hamptons, a chance encounter with a man unlike any other jars her—bone deep. Daniel Hawthorne Baird II, wealthy, dangerous, British aristocrat, gravitates to Bree like caviar on crustinis. In his relentless obsession with Bree, their lives entwine despite Bree’s resistance. With the unconditional support of friends she calls ‘family’, Bree confronts the most difficult questions of her life. Unearthing the painful mysteries behind: who fathered her child, who the real Daniel Baird is, and the irrepressible desire driving her towards a man destined to be the end of them both.
When the tour for this book came up, I knew I had to be on it, just from reading the blurb, anything with a bit of mystery and lack of memories I want to snap right up. The mystery is around “Bree” and her newborn baby (although not so newborn when we meet him), her lost memories, her apparent breakdown but what happened? Where is the father of the child? Who is the father of the child? And who is Daniel Hawthorne Baird II?
Gabrielle Valentine, Bree to her friends and family, has a gorgeous five-year-old boy, the opening part of the book focuses on who is his dad, and what secrets is she hiding? Months of memories have been lost following one night with a mysterious man until she wakes five months pregnant. She does not seem to want to know who the father is, and happy to live in her bubble until her best friend, and sister, pushes it one night in an argument. Setting things in motion in Bree’s life, and turning it upside down.
I loved the secondary characters, a scene that has stuck with me still is Tristian first day at Kindergarten. Even though the group of friends had been bickering amongst themselves, without telling each other they all turned up to the school gates to watch him at lunchtime, and the comradery between them was beautiful. It brought a tear to my eye, I loved it. To me, they make the story much more complete as it feels more real having their lives intertwine rather than just having the main characters quite singular on their journey.
The mystery between Bree and Daniel is palpable at the beginning. I will say it again but who is he! He remembers her, but she has not got any memories of him. He is not an endearing man, he has an attitude, but Bree keeps finding herself going back to him. Reminding me of a soft version of Anastasia and Mr Grey himself, from their behaviour (not the Red room situation!)
There were many twists and turns in this book, and it kept me hooked for all 516 pages! However, it was probably a bit long with some scenes that could have cut down a little. The length of the book shows you the detail that the author went into, however, this should not be cast in a negative light, she wanted a complete story which we have. I for one wanted to know how it would end, and if it would be a bang…..well for that you need to read it to find out.
About Nell E.S Douglas
Nell E. S. Douglas has possessed a deep, abiding love for written words since childhood. The transition from reader, to writer, was a natural one. Her first stories, penned on the lined pages of class notebooks, were inspired by her mother’s poetry and epic tales of travel, and a professorial inquisitiveness inherited from her father. Following college in Florida, Nell exited the world of pure imagination, and entered the one of business, successfully establishing a career in sales, and developing a cup-a-day habit (of coffee). Today, Nell writes everything from story ideas to essays during the spaces in-between domestic goddessing, and contributing as a managing partner to a thriving small business. Nell resides in Florida, with her husband and their children, passing on the traditions of her mother, and sinking her feet in the sand whenever possible.
Her favorite books are Pride and Prejudice, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Her favorite movies are Gladiator, anything by Scorcese, The Time Traveller’s Wife, and Bridesmaids.
*Thank you so much to Giselle at Xpress Book tours and the author Nell E.S Douglas for a copy of this book in return for my honest and unbiased view*
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: