Today I am sharing my review of The Diver and the Lover as part of the blog tour. The book will be published on Thursday 3rd September.
Soaked in sunlight, love and the mysteries surrounding a famous artist The Diver and the Lover is a novel inspired by true events.
It is 1951 and sisters Ginny and Meredith have travelled from England to Spain in search of distraction and respite. The two wars have wreaked loss and deprivation upon the family and the spectre of Meredith’s troubled childhood continues to haunt them. Their journey to the rugged peninsula of Catalonia promises hope and renewal.
While there they discover the artist Salvador Dali is staying in nearby Port Lligat. Meredith is fascinated by modern art and longs to meet the famous surrealist.
Dali is embarking on an ambitious new work, but his headstrong male model has refused to pose. A replacement is found, a young American waiter with whom Ginny has struck up a tentative acquaintance.
The lives of the characters become entangled as family secrets, ego and the dangerous politics of Franco’s Spain threaten to undo the fragile bonds that have been forged.
A powerful story of love, sacrifice and the lengths we will go to for who – or what – we love.
The Diver and the Lover has the most beautiful cover that draws you inside to an equally gorgeous storyline within. If you’re a fan of having your historical fiction woven around real events, people and places then this book will be one you need to put on your preorder list. I loved how the author explains at the front of the book, rather than the back, the seed that sprouted into his own version of events surrounding the painting of Christ of Saint John of The Cross in 1951 by Salvador Dali. And what follows is an emotional story of love, obsession and tragedy that will become your own personal obsession whilst reading it.
The relationship between the two sisters Meredith and Ginny lies at the heart of this novel but the real star is the painting itself. If you’ve never heard of it or seen it yourself (I used to live near Glasgow so often went along to admire its strength and beauty at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum) then make sure you google it so you can have it in your mind throughout your reading. I hadn’t really looked any further into its history so The Diver and The Lover was an interesting read for me from that point of view. And to have it as the point of focus in both of the timelines worked particularly well as I tried to work out what happened back in 1950s Spain and how it related to the incident that has just happened in the Kelvingrove Gallery. The two sisters are both very different characters and it was difficult to imagine that they would have anything in common due to those differences but it also became obvious that the secrets they both held onto would quickly resonate throughout their encounters in Catalonia.
Jeremy Vines has shown me a completely different side to his talents here and the tv presenter has written a beautifully evocative and intriguing storyline. The plot is easy to follow and his characters were brought perfectly to life. It is his love letter to a stunning piece of artwork that has now, hopefully, gathered new admirers from far and wide. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have already sent my copy to my Mum as I know she will love it too.
Jeremy Vine is one of the UK’s best-known broadcasters. He presents a weekday show on Radio 2, radio’s most popular news programme. He also presents Jeremy Vine on Channel 5, a daily current affairs programme, and he fronts Eggheads, one of the longest-running quiz shows in British TV history.
Jeremy is an accomplished journalist and writer and has previously published two works of non-fiction.
He lives in Chiswick with his wife and their two daughters
Follow the rest of the tour here…