Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle
VIRGINIA Andrews, whose novels have sold more than 80 million
copies worldwide and been translated into 22 languages, begins
her new De Beers series with Willow, a story
of love, deception and one woman's determination to discover her
Willow De Beers is that woman and just 19 when her adoptive father,
a renowned psychiatrist, dies, leaving a legacy she cannot ignore
- the identity of her birth parents. So begins her quest.
It takes her to Palm Beach and the
opulent and glitzy world of the rich and famous; where, under
an assumed name and the pretext of researching high society, she
meets and falls in love with lawyer, Thatcher Eaton.
But it's all too easy - the stuff of novels, as they say. So,
although the premise is good, it's one of missed opportunities;
the plot predictable and insubstantial.
Which is a pity, for Andrews paints her characters with great
care, even if they do ultimately leave us indifferent to their
That said, Willow is well written and doesn't rely on
titillating sex to keep interest alive. Neither does it make use
of the all-too-common expletives that nowadays, so many writers
deem necessary in their books.
So, while no masterpiece in the manner of Austen or Shute, Willow
is a light and entertaining read, ideal say, for a holiday or
to unwind with at the end of a busy day.