The House in the Olive Grove

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Pub Date 25 May 2023 | Archive Date 01 Jun 2023


‘A glorious story that celebrates the power of love’ – Bestselling author ADRIANA TRIGIANI

‘I adored The House in the Olive Grove. It is a hymn to friendship and love, and is utterly perfect’ – Bestselling author LIZ FENWICK

Will one week in Greece change their lives for ever?

Chef Maria is running a successful cookery school in her home village of Petalidi, Greece – but she is also running from the secrets of her past.

Food journalist Kayla thought this was going to be just another work trip. But right before she leaves for Greece, she discovers that her whole life is built on a lie.

Jewellery-maker Alessandra has always lived according to her own rules – despite what it has cost her to do so. But she has just had some devastating news.

As these three very different women come together at the house in the olive grove, unlikely friendships blossom and a season of self-discovery begins. Will the sumptuous flavours, sapphire waters and golden sands of Greece give each of them the answers they so desperately seek?

The breathtaking, escapist second novel from Emma Cowell, perfect for fans of Victoria Hislop, Carol Kirkwood and Karen Swan.

Authors love The House in the Olive Grove:

‘Emma Cowell creates worlds of warmth, laughter, healing and hope in her delicious novels. The House in the Olive Grove is a glorious story that celebrates the power of love.’ – Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Good Left Undone

‘I adored The House in the Olive Grove. It is a hymn to friendship and love, and is utterly perfect.’ – Liz Fenwick, bestselling author of The River Between Us

‘A culinary twist, female solidarity, friendship and romance, what more does one need for a perfect summer read?’ – Nadia Marks, bestselling author of Among the Lemon Trees

Evocative, compelling, moving. A glorious story.’ – Kate Frost, bestselling author of One Greek Summer

Sunshine and friendship, broken hearts and secrets. Cowell’s exquisite writing is as delicious as the food she describes.’ – Jennie Keer, bestselling author of The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

‘A glorious story that celebrates the power of love’ – Bestselling author ADRIANA TRIGIANI

‘I adored The House in the Olive Grove. It is a hymn to friendship and love, and is utterly perfect’ –...

Available Editions

ISBN 9780008515881
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 71 members

Featured Reviews

What a fabulous book. loved the story and characters, subject was close to my heart as I'm also a chef and would love a cookery school. Fabulous setting and didn't want the book to end.

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Absolutely loved this book. Set in Greece it made me want to sit at a bar in a taverna and soak up the sun! Maria, a chef, runs a cookery school and we learn how she fled New York for her home village and came home to live with her often acerbic mother. Kayla is a TV chef who is staying at the cookery school as is Alessandra who freely lives her life in an open marriage. All of these women have secrets, problems and insecurities which gradually unfold as does the relationship between the women. I really could not put this down as old rivalries, old loves and family relationships weave a really engaging story in a most beautiful of settings. Daren't say any more as I don't want to spoil it for anyone!

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I usually enjoy books centered around food and cooking…this one exceeded my expectations as a deeply satisfying story of love, loss, and friendship, all served up with a touch of magical realism.

Maria felt like an outsider growing up in the small village of Petalidi in Greece. When the fulfillment of her dream as chef/owner of a successful New York City restaurant abruptly ends, she returns home to the family farm. Once, again, she is plagued by the superstition and hostility of the villagers - even after the establishment of her successful cooking school, Maria’s Kitchen. Despite these challenges, Maria classes are well-known not only for her cooking skills, but also for the transformed lives touched by her lovingkindness and wisdom.

The story unfolds as two students arrive for a weeklong class coinciding with the village Easter celebration.
Kayla is a London-based celebrity food writer and host of the popular television show, the Home-Grown Chef.
Alessandra, a former dancer turned jewelry maker is an outspoken Italian from Rome. After a rocky start, they forge a bond of friendship that transcends their personality differences and, with Maria’s support, embark on a journey of self-discovery.

The lyrical prose drew me into the story and kept me engaged until the end. The descriptions of the Greek village and countryside were so evocative that they had me wanting to pack a bag and experience it for myself. The characters are wonderfully complex and well-developed. Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a while and I will definitely revisit it in the future for another read.

My thanks to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the privilege of reviewing this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

This review is being posted immediately to my GoodReads account and will be posted on Amazon upon publication.

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This book is food for the soul....
I had just finished reading a gruesome murder mystery (as they sometimes go) and really needed something nice and clean. The House in the Olive Grove is simply magic. It will wrap you in this beautiful world set in an idyllic seaside village in Greece.
WARNING: you will have an amazing urge to go and visit the place for yourself... you have been warned ;)
The perfect mix of culinary delights, beautiful friendships and love is enough to lift anyone up.
This book is a true gift and I wish Emma Cowell many more years of writing and using her extraordinary talent ;)

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The House in the Olive Grove is Emma’s second novel and it is packed with beautiful characters that are very relatable. Set in a gorgeous Greek village by the sea Petalidi woke my memories of many visits to various Greek island holidays over the years, leaving me yearning to go back.
The three main characters are Maria, Kayla and Alessandra all of whom are strong yet vulnerable in their own way. Each of them have their secrets to bear but by coming together at Maria’s Kitchen a cookery school, they become firm friends and there the magic happens.
Maria and her bees have a powerful gift that seems to seep into her students and with it gives both healing and inspiration which leads them on a journey of self-discovery. Maria is selfless and gives so much to others yet she denies love and romance into her own life. She battles with the pain of a broken heart from Leonides her childhood friend and is determined to continue with the life she has become accustomed to, ignoring what her heart wants.
I am full of praise for this uplifting story that stirred personal memories of Greece and its mouth-watering cuisine. My thanks to Net Galley and publishers Avon for the ARC of this lovely book.

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An absorbing story drawing on new friendships, relationships astray, and love lost but not forgotten.
The weeklong cooking lesson in Greece has an impact on three women: Maria the chef, Kayla the cookbook writer and TV personality, and Alessandra an artist. The magic of Maria’s honey, spices, and intuition has an effect on Kayla and Alessandra that neither anticipate.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I loved this story of three women coming together in a very beautiful place. Such lovely descriptions of food, exquisite gardens and surroundings. I wanted to be there.
Thank you for the chance to read and review this book.

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I thoroughly enjoyed his story. We meet three strong women, all very successful. Maria was a successful chef in New York, but she was badly scarred in an accident in the kitchen and as a result her husband divorced her. She returned to her home village in Greece and set up a cookery school, always her ambition. Kayla, an English food writer has been commissioned to spend a week at the school and write about it. Alessandra is Italian, a very successful jewellery maker has come to learn new recipes. Despite all being strong women they all have secrets that are wearing them down. The cookery school is not officially open for the season, it is just the three women in the kitchen, and they all have such different characters and temperaments, it is somewhat surprising that they quickly become close.

The village is described so well you can almost imagine being there. Like most places there is a lot of gossip, and Maria is a bit isolated from most of the villagers, her cookery school is very successful and put the village on the map - it has helped many of the locals financially, but they are a bit scared of her because of events in her childhood. You can feel the tension building, something terrible is going to happen! The story ends on a positive note, although there is sadness as well.

It is a delightful and easy read, the story pulls you along, you need to keep turning the pages and find out what happens next. And as an added bonus the food that they prepare sounds absolutely delicious!

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Maria is running a successful cookery school in Greece. Kayla and Allessandra come to do her course and the book is all about how they connect with other and how their lives all unfold. Loved this book and the descriptions of Greece

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This is a hard book to review .. A great story. Three strong woman . Maria owned a cookery school Greece , Then Alessandra and Kayla come for for a few days. They all have issues and problems. The story is told through all of them in different chapters. Takes a while to get into. Maria keeps bees and they come in to the story in a very clever way. You had a wicked but sort of well meaning Greek mother. An old love, secrets, Real sadness . A very challenging read at times but by the end I could not put it down.

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Such a beautiful book; it has everything for a summer read. It is the story of burgeoning friendship between three women who meet for the first time on a cookery course in Greece. There is a love story, of course but so much more. Vivid descriptions bring Greece in a hot summer to life, a paean to the wonderful food to make one’s mouth water and there is drama too which is breathtaking. And running throughout the peaceful hum of the bees and their glorious honey. It really is the complete package and I literally hated to put it down. I loved it!

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