Review: Forbidden Fruit

Forbidden Fruit
Forbidden Fruit by Erica Spindler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Forbidden Fruit by Erica Spindler – 5 stars
This is the story of the Pierron women and their shadowy past, and the affect that past has on the lives of the ones who are still alive. Forbidden Fruit takes you into the world of sultry New Orleans, to the home of Lily Pierron, a legendary madam, like her mother and grandmother before her. What is different now is that Lily wants a different life for her own daughter, Hope, and she makes sure that Hope has the best education that money can buy. She even goes as far as setting up an entire new identity for her daughter. However, unbeknown to Lily, Hope cannot wait to get out of her mother’s house, and she embraces this new identity with the intention of leaving all of her past behind––including her mother.

Hope, who is beautiful, smart, and talented, fits into high society quite well, despite the darkness that torments her from time to time. She met the man of her dreams, Phillip St. Germaine III, owner of a well established hotel, The St. Charles. They married and were happy until Hope gave birth to a baby girl. She had been hoping to break the Pierron women’s curse, by having a boy. Hope refused to have anything to do with her new baby, much to the surprise of her husband, Phillip.

Hope spends a lot of time in the church, and she decides that she must ask the guidance of her priest. She tells him that the women of her family are evil and wanton––that they are cursed. She tells him that she has escaped the darkness but she fears for her baby daughter’s eternal soul, saying that she can see the darkness in the child. The priest tells Hope that she has the power to mould her daughter into a woman of high moral character; the child can be Hope’s glory, or her defeat.

So, Hope names her daughter, Glory, and sets out to do just that. Glory discovers, at an early age, that she can never please her mother, no matter what she does. Glory suffers unquestionable punishments that even her beloved father, despite his devotion to his daughter, cannot stop because he is so enamoured––controlled––by his beautiful wife. Eventually, Glory does as she pleases.

Enter Victor Santos, a young man with a troubled past, who has a chance meeting with Lily, Hope’s mother. She takes him in and he becomes like the son she never had. How do all the paths cross…Hope, becomes desperate when she finds out that the hotel is in trouble, and she turns to her mother for money. She tells her mother the transactions must be kept secret, though, and her mother sends Santos with the first instalment. As Santos is leaving the hotel, Glory spots him.

Things spiral from there. I don’t want to give away too much more…you must read Forbidden Fruit for yourself…the darkness that continues to haunt Hope, no matter what she does…the darkness that grips Glory, although in a different form than her mother’s darkness…the darkness that holds Santos to his past…the darkness that torments Lily. You will want to keep turning the pages…these characters are so alive, and despite everything, as in real life, we never know what goes on behind closed doors––no matter how pretty the door is on the outside.

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