Dangerous Waters by Anne Allen
‘Oh my God, what’s happening to me? After all this time, please, not again!’
Jeanne Le Page, gripped by fear and panic, struggles to breathe as the ferry arrives in Guernsey – the island she had fled fifteen years before, traumatized by a family tragedy.
Now she has to return after another death. Her beloved grandmother has bequeathed Jeanne her old cottage. She intends to stay just long enough to sell her inheritance. Deeply unhappy after the recent end of a relationship, she has no desire to pick up her old life in her birthplace.
Jeanne is shocked to find that the cottage holds a secret going back to the German Occupation. She becomes drawn into learning more, delaying her planned departure. At the same time, while unveiling the truth of what happened to her family, she puts herself in mortal danger.
Jeanne has to relive the tragedy as the ghosts continue to haunt her. But over time the island works its magic, encouraging her to live and love again.
A Review by Francine Howarth:
Jeanne’s return to her home Island of Guernsey forces her to face the fear of a specific stretch of waterway. The experience aboard a ferry, unpleasant in itself, bodes ill for sense of peace from nightmares that have plagued her since childhood. Meanwhile, a cottage, bequeathed to her by her grandmother, instills strength and perseverance in starting a new life after a relationship break-up.
But as heart-rending flashbacks occur with ever-increasing frequency, a man seemingly intent on developing a deep relationship with her becomes a tad too possessive. Sense of danger soon prevails and while Jeanne unravels a mystery of interest to her in the vein of curiosity, a mystery from her past comes full circle to threaten her life.
Can she survive, and can love win the day? Dangerous Waters is a poignant story of tragic losses and meaningful love found within a place that is dear to her heart. A delightful if sad read to touch the heart of a reader.
A Review by Clare Swindlehurst, Blue Archipelago Reviews: Jeanne comes back to the island where she spent her childhood after the breakdown of her relationship and the death of her grandma. She left at the age of sixteen after witnessing her parents’ death in a terrible boat accident and all she wants to do is tidy up her grandma’s cottage – bequeathed to her in her will – sell it and return to England.
A chance encounter with an old school friend sees her invited to a BBQ where she finds herself enjoying the company of people her own age, and under the loving guidance of her parents’ old friends Jeanne decides to renovate her grandma’s cottage and consider staying on for good.
Before too long Jeanne has uncovered some of her grandma’s old recipes, along with some love letters from the wartime and she sets off on a path of uncovering her family’s distant history while also trying to understand what happened on the boat the night she lost her parents. Along the way she makes new friends, fulfills her dream of writing a novel and unwittingly puts herself in mortal danger only to be rescued by a knight in shining armor.
This is a wonderful book, filled with family secrets, love and friendship, intrigue and danger and a dollop of good old-fashioned romance! I also enjoyed the references to Guernsey and its history and feel like I walked the streets with Jeanne enjoying the sights and the sea.
I am so glad I had no plans for this lazy Sunday as I was perfectly content to read this whole book from start to finish, and now that it’s come to an end I’m going to miss Jeanne, Molly, Peter and the lovely Nick.
If you’re looking for a summer vacation read then you really can’t go wrong with Anne’s debut novel. I look forward to seeing what she conjures up next.