Review: The Kiss by Santa Montefiore

The Kiss
is a story of family, betrayal and, ultimately redemption. When Maddison turns eighteen, she discovers the true identity of her mysterious father--and wealthy and older man who is married with three sons and who had a brief fling with her mother in New York. He has always paid for her upkeep, but when he and Maddison meet up for lunch it is intended to be a brief meeting so that both can acknowledge the other, Maddison can discover her family roots and Robert can go back to his family and get on with his life. Life has other plans and when Robert finds himself getting along well with Maddison, he soon realises that the best way forward is to come clean with his wife and sons. Fortunately, his family all accept the situation and a little way down the track Maddison is invited on a family holiday. It is there that Maddison meets Robert's oldest son Jack, and bit by bit, things start to come unstuck. The pair know that they are getting along a little too well--as does Blythe, Jack's money hungry fiancée. Nothing good can come from this situation, but what happens when a DNA test comes up with a result that no one was expecting.

This was a very short and easy read, the kind that can be enjoyed over a cuppa on a rainy afternoon. Created as part of the UK's wonderful quick reads programme, where famous authors are commissioned to write a selection of very short books, it tells a full and complete story in just under 120 pages. The prose is accessible and inclusive. Although the situation was compelling, I found that the storytelling and the characters occasionally lacked depth, especially considering that the author tackled a very taboo subject. Although the hint of incest is somewhat disturbing, it is handled sensibly and with class, which I appreciate. And, of course, the ending is redemptive. I did find that some of the characters, in particular Maddison's mother, got off a bit too lightly, and that many of the characters were a little too understanding in places. 

A short read, perfect for a rainy winter day.



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