300 DAYS OF SUN

Deborah Lawrenson

Combining the atmosphere of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins with the intriguing historical backstory of Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train, Deborah Lawrenson’s mesmerizing novel transports readers to a sunny Portuguese town with a shadowy past—where two women, decades apart, are drawn into a dark game of truth and lies that still haunts the shifting sea marshes.

Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. Faro is an enchanting town, and the seaside views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But behind the crumbling facades of Moorish buildings,

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Combining the atmosphere of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins with the intriguing historical backstory of Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train, Deborah Lawrenson’s mesmerizing novel transports readers to a sunny Portuguese town with a shadowy past—where two women, decades apart, are drawn into a dark game of truth and lies that still haunts the shifting sea marshes.

Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. Faro is an enchanting town, and the seaside views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But behind the crumbling facades of Moorish buildings, Joanna soon realizes, Faro has a seedy underbelly, its economy compromised by corruption and wartime spoils. And Nathan has an ulterior motive for seeking her company: he is determined to discover the truth involving a child’s kidnapping that may have taken place on this dramatic coastline over two decades ago.

Joanna’s subsequent search leads her to Ian Rylands, an English expat who cryptically insists she will find answers in The Alliance, a novel written by American Esta Hartford. The book recounts an American couple’s experience in Portugal during World War II, and their entanglements both personal and professional with their German enemies. Only Rylands insists the book isn’t fiction, and as Joanna reads deeper into The Alliance, she begins to suspect that Esta Hartford’s story and Nathan Emberlin’s may indeed converge in Faro—where the past not only casts a long shadow but still exerts a very present danger.

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  • Harper Paperbacks
  • Paperback
  • April 2016
  • 384 Pages
  • 9780062390165

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$15.99

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About Deborah Lawrenson

Deborah Lawrenson studied English at Cambridge University and worked as a journalist in London. She is married with a daughter, and lives in Kent, England. Deborah’s previous novels include The Lantern and The Sea Garden.

Praise

“A deeply satisfying novel, a rich story with a strong feeling for time and place and the expert pacing of the best thrillers. Readers will appreciate Lawrenson’s ability to combine stunning atmosphere with a fascinating historical backstory.”Booklist, starred review

“Merges past and present, doubling identities and events to dazzling… effect. Set against the lush but corrupt coastal resorts of southern Portugal, the novel’s shadowy deeds seem only more dangerous in this sunny clime…. Sure to please those who relish the untangling of crimes in exotic locales.”Library Journal

“With its lush settings, high-stakes suspense, and novel-within-a-novel, 300 Days of Sun is a feast for fiction lovers. Lawrenson delivers a labyrinth of complex relationships the reader is both breathless to solve and eager to return to upon completion. Haunting.”Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl and The House of Hawthorne

Discussion Questions

1. At the start of the novel Nathan seems by far the most self-confident and easy-going character. What does this say about some people’s ability to adapt to any situation? Or is it just bravado?

2. What exactly is Joanna running away from? Is it Marc, or does he only represent the cause of her unease?

3. Consider Alva’s situation in Lisbon in the 1940s and the choices available to women at that time. How hard would it have been for her to become independent?

4. How much of the book is concerned with displays of power over others?

5. What is the significance of the sea marshes that shift with time and storms?

6. Why does Joanna take the decision she does at the end of the book?