The Diver And The Lover By Jeremy Vine
‘The Diver And The Lover’ is the latest book by Jeremy Vine.
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.
One genre of books that I donâ€™t read enough is historical fiction, so when I was offered the opportunity to read â€˜The Diver and the Loverâ€™, I was curious particularly as the story is based on true events.
The story is primarily seen through the narrative of long lost sisters Meredith and Ginny, after Ginny saves her sister from a mental hospital and they escape to Spain. Meredith has battles with mental health and anxiety after she and her father were found starving and alone after the sudden death of her mother when she was a child. Her father moved on and had another daughter but Meredith never recovered and has bouts of blindness when anxious. Itâ€™s whilst on this journey that Ginny is hoping to grow a relationship with her sister but finds it hard when they become embroiled in working with world famous artist Salvador Dali and Meredith has a love for art and Dali befriends her. Whilst Meredith is working alongside Dali on his latest painting, Ginny finds herself falling for Adam, the young Canadian diver who is the subject for Daliâ€™s latest painting.
The story is seen through multiple perspectives and the range of different narratives give an interesting slant to the story, from the well informed art lovers to the American stunt man who doesnâ€™t agree with Daliâ€™s work.
The story flows at a nice pace and I enjoyed the story mixing fact with romantic fiction against the heady backdrop of Catalonia. Itâ€™s obviously well researched and it was fascinating to read about Salvador Dali and his controversial painting of â€˜Christ of Saint John of the Crossâ€™, as well as his inspiration behind his other pieces of art and his eccentricities.
A story combining fact and romance with troubled characters and a fascinating plot line that made for engaging reading. Cleverly written with mystery and complicated relationships throughout, â€˜The Diver and the Loverâ€™ is a stunning escape to 1950â€™s Catalonia.
You can preorder ‘The Diver And The Lover’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.