Life-Changing Holiday Romance
The point about holiday romances is they’re not supposed to be life-changing. To suddenly find yourself in a strange hotel in a country you haven’t been to before with permanent sunshine except at night when stars blaze like jewels in a sky that seems to have been transported from a dream you once had of the romantic ideal, tends to make you shrug off that straitjacket of pasty-faced conventionality and become a completely different person. Or, it might be said, become much more the person you would love to be if only everyday life would let you. And given that everyone else staying at the hotel, in the campsite, on the cruise liner or whatever is experiencing the same sense of delightful alienation from what usually passes as normal living, and that young chap from the warehouse with the eye-flinching T-shirt or the rather prim telesales girl sashaying around with a flower in her hair are feeling much the same as you, the stage is set for a complete change of behaviour all round.
“Ahah, but will it last?” you ask when your friend tells you he’s just back from snogging in the midnight surf with an Angelina Jolie lookalike with a Geordie accent who hails from Newcastle, and he lives somewhere in Surrey with a dog, an overdraft and a rather large mortgage, and they’ve sworn lifelong devotion to each other and can’t wait to stay in touch when the holiday is over. And he says much the same about you when you announce that you’ve met a local barmaid who speaks hardly a word of English and wants to continue to communicate with you after the holiday till arrangements can be made for a marriage either in her country or yours. Because, however much we like to delude ourselves, a holiday romance is usually what it says on the tin, a temporary arrangement, however awesomely idyllic it might seem to be while it’s going on, whose colour and allure will start to fade the moment the plane’s tyres screech down on the tarmac under familiar grey skies and everyday life starts getting its hooks back into us again.
Holiday Romance and Lavender Days
Although Lavender Days would appear to be typical of the holiday romance ethic, with all of the above-mentioned ingredients, the point about the book is the variety of ways in which the story differs from what might be described as the norm. It’s why readers have been kind enough to say such things as: This is a gem of a contemporary novella for anyone who loves a touch of humour, romance and great sense of time and place. For as Gabriel relives the past – through his diary and that of a sealed letter – a sprig of lavender stirs the senses and nostalgia for honeyed days of blissful indulgence cloak about him; this is a lovely, lovely read.
For if two people are truly meant to be together, and they happen to meet on holiday like Gabriel and Kathryn do, and there are all sorts of geographical inconveniences and other practical considerations that would normally, after each of the lovers has returned home, make a no-no of any continuation of the romance, then somehow those two will find a way to be together, at whatever cost and however much upheaval is involved. A recent survey into this very question reveals that a third of holidaymakers have romantic involvements abroad, and that almost 10% of these romances lead to marriage. Another statistic shows that it’s by no means just the young who find permanent partners in this way, for the most successful at discovering long-term love abroad are the over-60s, with as many as 22% of their holiday romances ending in wedding bells.
Will Lavender Days end in wedding bells too?
Read extracts from Lavender Days HERE
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Read EXTRACTS from Robin Squire’s books