The author, Deborah Lawrenson, set this novel in the beautiful scenic backdrop Faro, Portugal. Our protagonist, Joanna Millard, is a journalist. She’s taking time off and running from a broken relationship. While in Portugal, she’s studying Portuguese at a local Language School. One of the other English students, Nathan Emberlin befriends her. A younger guy. She assumes he’s a party guy and not much more, but then he approaches her to help him with some research and everything about Nathan seems to change. He wants her to find out about a man he knows as Terry Jackson. In addition, he needs to understand more about a child who was kidnapped here more than two decades prior.
After a bit of research into local news archives, she connects with Ian Rylands, a historian. He provides her with a book, The Alliance written by American Esta Hartford in the late forties. Ian leads Joanna to believe that the story written as fiction is actually true. The Alliance related the experience of a couple and their association with Germany during WWII. This all seemed far-fetched from the information she was seeking. Could it all be connected?
Because of the introduction to The Alliance, 300 Days of Sun actually became two books – a story within a story. I hadn’t expected this and would rather have had our protagonist, Joanna, summarize it as it related to her research. The beginning of this novel was most interesting and moved at a rather quick pace. The sideline into The Alliance drew away from the plot and slowed the story down. It’s clear the author did due diligence in researching Portugal’s past as it connected to WWII giving the reader a realistic feel — yet the story itself is pure fiction. Rating: 3 out of 5.