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300 Days of Sun

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  902 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
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 t
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Harper Paperbacks
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Diane S ☔
Apr 23, 2016 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
I became quite caught up in this one, a story within a story about events decades apart. In the current story, Jo comes to Faro, Portugal to escape a relationship with someone who wanted more than she could give. A journalist by trade, she enrolls in a language course where she meets Josh, a young man who wants Joanna to use her journalistic skills to help him uncover the secrets of his parentage. During the course of their investigation she meets and older man, Ian, who tells her to read a book ...more
Maria Espadinha
Aug 11, 2016 Maria Espadinha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Debaixo do Sol

Crimes e escapadelas sob um sol que brilha incansavelmente cerca de 300 dias por ano, e que por feliz acaso até é bem nosso!
Aposto que, tal como eu, desconheciam que o nosso querido e amado sol era tão diligente assim?!
A continuar com esta cadência , ainda nos tomba em cima com algum esgotamento!!! Hehe

Aprender é sempre louvável, mas invade-nos uma sensação algo incómoda, sempre que são estrangeiros a ensinar-nos sobre o nosso próprio país. Até os mais ínfimos pormenores!...
Não es
Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

Something I have found about holidaying alone is that I tend to develop more intimate relationships to the places I visit. When I've stayed somewhere on my own, I often feel as though I've lived there for a short period - even if the duration of my holiday was just a few days - and find I can recall features of the area, such as the layout of streets, in far more more detail than seems usual. I'm mentioning this because the main setting of 300 Day
May 31, 2016 Denise rated it really liked it
"Nothing is what it should be." " We cannot go back to what we once were". Both quotes are very appropriate for the theme of this novel. 300 Days of Sun is a well written novel by Deborah Lawrenson. It is an intriguing story within a story which takes place in Portugal decades apart ( present day and WWII). There are numerous elements to this novel; romance, complex relationships, historical events, espionage, mystery, to name a few. I personally enjoyed the detailed descriptions of historical s ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Taryn rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
This was a struggle for me to get through. First: I really dislike the book within a book format, especially when it goes on for chapters. It's particularly grating when you have no interest in the "inner book" and just want to get back to the main story.

Second: the main story. It was a slog, I didn't like any of the characters and felt their motivations were thin. Stuff just kind of happened and I didn't feel the gravity of things that should have been major. It lacked heart.

Third: the pacing
Erika Robuck
Sep 28, 2015 Erika Robuck rated it it was amazing
With its lush settings, high-stakes suspense, and novel-within-a-novel, 300 DAYS OF SUN delivers a labyrinth of complex relationships the reader is both breathless to solve and eager to return to upon completion. I lost sleep reading this fabulous, haunting novel.
"Portugal is a high hill with a white watch tower on it flying signal flags. It is apparently inhabited by one man who lives in a long row of yellow houses with red roofs, and populated by sheep who do grand acts of balancing on the side of the hill."

----Richard H. Davis

Deborah Lawrenson, an English writer, pens a fascinating tale of romance, mystery and escapism, in her new book, 300 Days of Sun that unfolds the journey of two women- one in the present times and another in the World war II e
Sharon Metcalf
May 09, 2016 Sharon Metcalf rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This story was told in two separate time periods and initially I longed to return to the current day, to spend time with Nathan & Jo in their search for the truth about his heritage.   And if I'm honest I was hoping for a romantic liaison to develop between them.    As the book progressed and we spent more time with Alva during the pre and post WW11 years, I became more invested in that story.    The writing was on the wall for Alva's marriage and I became caught up in the emeging relationsh ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Kristel rated it did not like it
I truly can't overstate how bad this book really is. The writing is terrible and seems to be mostly comprised of filler. It's as if she wrote a short story and then stretched it out to a novel. It literally includes words that don't exist and words that are unnecessarily complex but infrequently enough that it is like Lawrenson picked a word at random and looked it up in a thesaurus. The plot is absurd and doesn't tie together well. She really seems to have tried to pick up every type of drama - ...more
Jul 14, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing
*** 4.5 out of 5 stars ***

Deborah Lawrenson is a new author to me so I had no preconceived notions when I picked up this book, all I had was a description that truly fascinated me and piqued my interest.

Cleverly written as a book within a book, Lawrenson exhibits a the true mastery of her writing abilities. Transporting the reader to Portugal, the reader encounters Joanna Millard who has travelled to the Algarve coastline to attend a language school and escape from a her stagnant life back home.
Apr 25, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-books
2 -stars

When I read, I like to go beyond my own geographical borders when choosing books. Though it's not actual travel, armchair transport can be really enjoyable. I was drawn to Lawrenson's novel because I have not read very many books set in Portugal. I was also quite drawn to the cover - it was an enticing design for a summer read. So, yes! I did judge this book by its cover.

Lawrenson's book is totally meta as she has written a novel within a novel. The NWaN begins with the German occupation
Paula Reis
Oct 23, 2016 Paula Reis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surpreendente bom! Mistério no rescaldo da 2a guerra mundial.
99% da acção é passada em Portugal, a maioria dos lugares são conhecidos só alguns são ficcionados. À medida que a leitura vai avançando vem-nos à memória uma sensação de dejá vu !
Gostei e recomendo!
nikkia neil
Sep 08, 2015 nikkia neil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Loved the setting and mood created by descriptions of Portugal. Dual time period romance is always best when its done by great writer like Deborah Lawrenson. I loved escaping with this novel.
I am going up to 5 stars for this one! Highly unusual for me ;-) but I feel it's closer to a 5 than a 4 and my favorite of Lawrenson's books so far.

There are things that I expect from a Deborah Lawrenson book after discovering her through TLC Book Tours of her first two books, The Lantern (set in Provence) and The Sea Garden, (set on a Mediterranean Island off the French Coast). When describing her writing, I always fall back on the word "lush." There are the beautiful and lush locations she wr
Sara Strand
Apr 25, 2016 Sara Strand rated it liked it
I think I need to read more from this author because she does such a fantastic job of mentally sending you to the setting, I can't think of anyone who does it better. I signed up for this book tour only for the cover and the comparison to Orphan Train, which is one of my favorite books so I felt compelled to read. Does it live up to that comparison? Meh, not really. Sure, 300 Days of Sun has a great story that we flip back to but it doesn't grab me like Orphan Train, but that doesn't mean it's n ...more
Carolyn Hill
Mar 21, 2016 Carolyn Hill rated it really liked it
The sunny southern coast of Portugal is the setting for this mystery/suspense novel. Journalist Joanna Millard, at a loose end after losing her job, escapes to Faro hoping to put distance between her and a failed relationship. Despite the glittering allure of sun and sea, shadows of apprehension darken any holiday mood. At her language class, Joanna meets Nathan, a charming younger man who wants to make use of her investigative skills on a decades old child abduction case. Intrigued by the hints ...more
Apr 24, 2016 Kari rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
300 Days of Sun is actually like two books in one. You get the present story of Joanna who is staying in Faro as a language student. She is recruited by Nathan to use her reporter skills to look for the truth behind his adoption. Interspersed throughout the story are long excerpts from a book, The Alliance which is a fictionalized account of Esta's time in the Portugal during WWII.

I was initially sucked into the Joanna's story and was eager to follow the mystery to the end. However, I didn't en
Oct 11, 2016 Jacqueline rated it liked it
Spoilers below.

Really enjoyed this book right up to the last 2 pages. Why do authors feel they have to end books sad? Do they think it's more legit that way? Every book I read doesn't have to end happy but there should be some realistic reason that it doesn't. This book the sad ending was contrived. Like she decided at the last minute to make it sad when the whole book was leaning towards happy and I was left feeling " well f*ck me ."
Apr 05, 2016 Cindy rated it it was ok
Too many characters (confusing), too many places (didn't know where I was half the time), too slow (seemed like a lot of filler to me). Once again i am in the minority (2 stars) according to the reviews. I hate it when I find myself skimming over pages which is what I found myself doing especially the second half.
Nov 24, 2015 Lucy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
When you pick up a novel by Deborah Lawrenson you can be sure of one thing, that you are going to be transported to a fascinating place that will come alive as you turn the pages. In 300 Days of Sun, that location is Portugal, and you not only feel that you are there during the read, you will be checking travel sites to see how you can get there in real life.

Journalist Joanna Millard washes up in Faro, on the southern Algarve coast, to take a Portuguese language course. It’s high summer yet the
Deborah Aijo
Dec 01, 2015 Deborah Aijo rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC copy of 300 Days of Sun from the publisher. It did not disappoint. Lawrenson is a master at setting a scene, and I quickly found myself absorbed in the stifling heat and beauty of the Portuguese coast, which perfectly fit this story of conspiracy, murder, love, and the search for truth. I especially loved the characters of Joanna and Alva, two distinctly different women living seven decades apart. One knows her mind – pretty much, and the other has to discover who she really is ...more
Liza Nahas
Jan 26, 2017 Liza Nahas rated it really liked it
I wish more fiction readers knew about Deborah Lawrenson, she really is a great novelist. Her books always have great detail of place and time, revealing the amount of research Lawrenson must do. I enjoyed this one for various reasons: a unique locale (Portugal), a believable &relatable narrator, WWII historical fiction backstory woven into contemporary tale, true crime suspense, and an interesting ending. Jo's story and Alva's story were both so compelling, I didn't want to put the book dow ...more
Journalist Joanna Millard, having just lost her job and needing separation from her boyfriend Marc, travels from Brussels to Faro, Portugal. She spends her days taking language lessons and lazily exploring the history and natural beauty of this seaside town. She soon befriends fellow classmate Nathan Emberlin, who enlists Joanna to investigate a number of child kidnappings that have occurred in the area. As Joanna reaches out to the locals, she uncovers 'The Alliance', a novel written by Esta Ha ...more
Ryan Murdock
Jun 13, 2016 Ryan Murdock rated it it was amazing
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. But you'd better cancel any plans — including sleep — because you won't be able to put it down until the last page.

The plot is intriguing. The novel-within-a-novel raises the tension and keeps both story lines simmering as they move towards their inevitable convergence. And the historical echoes bring a sinister WWII resonance of truth as they remind us that Lisbon was a hive of espionage during the war years, and the last hope of escape for so many desperat
Apr 20, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
300 Days of Sun is absolutely fascinating. It's not just a book with 2 separate storylines. It's a book within a book. Joanna Millard travels to the Algarve coast of Portugal with the hopes of escaping her life. There she meets an expatriate Nathan Emberlin who seeks out Joanna's help in uncovering the truth in a decades old kidnapping case. The two encounter another expatriate who tells them the answers can be found in The Alliance, a novel about a couple's experience in Portugal during WWII. A ...more
Jul 11, 2016 Mystica rated it really liked it
Set in two time frames which is always intriguing, we have two distinct story lines. One is from our present times where Joanna is in Portugal, trying to decide what she wants for her future and also to escape an over-whelming relationship. The other story is set in decades past in a time when Portugal was neutral during WWII and faced with many intrigues - from spies, to vast corruption and to a sorrowful story of child abductions.

The child abductions becomes the link in the two time frames and
Ida (About a Book)
Apr 21, 2016 Ida (About a Book) rated it really liked it
Intriguing and enjoyable, 300 Days of Sun is an excellent summer read. There are numerous elements to the story; romance, mystery, historical events, espionage, along with a thriller aspect that make it quite a page-turner. The author does a wonderful job of integrating all of these themes together and each works very well. I found the passages from The Alliance (the book within the book), and the sections with Joanna’s account to both be interesting and captivating, although I did prefer when t ...more
Apr 05, 2016 Sari rated it really liked it
Deborah Lawrenson transports the reader to the sights and sun of Portugal in this mystery-thriller. Who is this young man in Jo's summer Portuguese language class? Why does he disappear for days at a time?

The author has crafted this novel around a much earlier written book which provides clues to this contemporary story. Lawrenson is skilled at richly capturing the setting of the story, both past and present.

The publisher has taken care with the presentation of this paperback. It is not often t
Lynn M
May 18, 2016 Lynn M rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy this author's books, and have been waiting for this one to come out. Her sense of place is as evocative as ever, this time a sunny Portugal that holds dark secrets. The combination of modern mystery, romance and suspense with a historical back story is beautifully done and full of fascinating details. I also felt the ending was very satisfying and clever and true to the themes of the novel.
May 09, 2016 Ehbooklover rated it really liked it
A wonderful historical/mystery/romance read that alternated seamlessly between present day and WWII. I really enjoyed the fact that the author used chapters of a fictional novel when retelling the part of the story that took place in the past. The beautiful setting was so vividly described that I could imagine myself being in Portugal, and I loved the hint of Gothic strewn throughout the book. I look forward to reading more by this author.
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After a childhood of constant moves around the world - my family lived at various times in Kuwait, China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore - I read English at Trinity College, Cambridge. I trained as a journalist on a weekly South London newspaper, then worked on several national newspapers and magazines.

My first novel Hot Gossip (1994) was a satire based on my experiences working on Nigel Demps
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