The Spanish House is a hotch-potch of designs, Georgian, Gothic and Moorish, as if whoever started it had simply got bored. It has long been known as an architectural folly to locals, and is now nearly derelict to boot.
When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For Isabel, recently widowed, the house is a potential lifeline – the only hope she has of providing for her two children without having to sell her most treasured possession. But for neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge – on the family who ruined his father. For his wife it’s the key to the perfect family life, while a struggling property developer sees in it a whole new future.
As desires clash and intertwine, lives and loves are demolished – and the Spanish House becomes a true folly indeed. . .
My reading experience:
The author sets the scene around The Spanish House really well, inviting the reader to have connections with her characters and then showing the reader who they really are (as is often the way IRL).
Matt and Laura have it all and are inches away from having the home of their dreams after working a long con on it’s inhabitant to secure its inheritance. It’s a long con with a smile from this sweet and beautiful couple who have a secure place in their village community. And then the house goes into probate and is inherited by a distant relative, a recently widowed young mother and professional violinist. The lengths that Matt and Laura will go to, to get their dream home, knows no bounds.
Isabel has an ethereal and complex quality, the very opposite of Matt’s solidity and simplicity. But insecure and vulnerable, Isabel is taken in by his support, until he reveals his ugly truth.
The author has given the reader all of the characters required to make this an enjoyable and diverse story – the bad builder, the gullible barmaid, the gay corner shop owners, the weak wife, and the grieving widow. Genius.
Another great story from JoJo Moyes.