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The Rocks by Peter Nichols

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A big, generational novel interestingly told in reverse. We begin in 2005 and travel back through 1995, 1970, 1951 and 1948 where the mystery began. There is a small closure back in 2005 which ties it all together but in between we get the story of an old couple who fall off a cliff path in Mallorca. She, Lulu, runs a little hotel, The Rocks; he had divorced her back in 1949. It is an intriguing way of telling a dramatic story, of following the couple’s lives and that of their children. Highly original and recommended.

~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Peter Nichols you might also like to read books by Elizabeth Jane Howard, Maggie Shipstead and Liza Klaussman.


The Rocks by Peter Nichols

Set on the island of Mallorca, The Rocks is a double love story told in reverse. Opening in 2005 with a dramatic event that seems to seal the mystery of two lives, the story moves backwards in time, unravelling over sixty years, amid the olive groves and bars, the boats and poolside parties, the lives and relationships of two intertwined families within an expat community of endearing and flawed characters. As one story is revealed, another, sweeter one, a love story of a couple from the younger generation, arises in the wake of their elders' failures. The Rocks is a darkly comic, bittersweet, finally heartbreaking novel, that slips back in time to reveal the shocking incident that marked and altered these lives for ever.


'Peter Nichols's wondrous novel The Rocks is clearly the odyssey he was born to undertake, the book he was destined to write'
Richard Russo

'Set over 60 years, this family drama will completely consume you'

'I have admired Peter Nichols for a long time. He shows an unflinching honesty in his writing and he brings to light the intricate dynamics of human relationships, both the noble and the small. Nothing escapes him' Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

'A beautifully crafted love story set against an idyllic backdrop of ocean breezes and lemon groves. Nichols expertly weaves a tale that stretches across decades and generations, giving us a unique and unforgettable cast of characters'
J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine

About the Author

Peter Nichols

Peter Nichols spent ten years at sea working as a professional yacht captain, living and cruising aboard his own small wooden sail boat, before turning to writing full time. He is the author of three critically acclaimed books: a memoir of those years, Sea Change: Alone Across the Atlantic in a Wooden Boat; Evolution's Captain and Lodestar (a novel). He lives in Paris.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd July 2015


Peter Nichols

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Heron Books an imprint of Quercus Publishing


432 pages


Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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