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Helen Walsh to direct film of her novel, The Lemon Grove

Helen Walsh's acclaimed novel, The Lemon Grove, is set to come to the big screen with Walsh herself attached to direct. The film will shoot next summer.

Following on from her novels Brass (winner of Betty Trask Award) and Once Upon a Time In England (winner of Somerset Maugham Prize), Helen Walsh’s fourth novel THE LEMON GROVE was a critical hit and international best-seller on its publication. The Observer called it “taut and lyrical; steamy, tender and full of insight”, Vogue described it as a “must-read” and The New York Times Book Review commented “Walsh’s pacing is brilliant, her writing a combination of William Trevor and Erica Jong”.

Set on the island of Mallorca during one hot summer week, the story follows a family for whom the carefully laid jigsaw of life is about to be broken.

Each summer, Jenn and her husband Greg return to Deia, on Mallorca's dramatic west coast. This year the arrival of Emma, Jenn's stepdaughter, and her new boyfriend Nathan threatens to upset their equilibrium. Beautiful and reckless, Nathan stirs something unexpected in Jenn. As she is increasingly seduced by Nathan's youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession begins to blur.

Helen Walsh’s directorial debut feature, THE VIOLATORS, was released earlier this year to widespread acclaim. A powerful and engaging British drama written by Walsh, THE VIOLATORS stars newcomers Lauren McQueen and Brogan Ellis who jointly won the Best Actress Award at Nashville Film Festival this year for their performances in the film. THE VIOLATORS was hailed by The Times as “a powerful debut” and by The Arts Desk as “ballsy, bruising, brilliant – 5 stars”.

Produced by Red Union Films, with the support of the BFI Film Fund, THE VIOLATORS was nominated for a BIFA in 2015 for Producer of the Year (David Hughes and David Moores).

Producer David Moores comments, "THE VIOLATORS showcased Helen Walsh as one of UK cinema's outstanding new talents. We at Red Union are very happy to be teaming with Helen once more in bringing this wonderful and sensuous novel to the screen."

Writer/director Helen Walsh says of her upcoming film, “I’m excited at the prospect of bringing this sultry and transgressive love story to life. Mallorca is a film-maker’s dream and I look forward to evoking its vistas, sunsets, cliffs and coves - and its lemon groves, of course - on an even bigger canvas.”

The novel’s UK publisher, Mary-Anne Harrington from Tinder Press adds, “We couldn’t be more thrilled at Tinder Press that this unforgettable book will have a new life on screen, and that Helen will be directing.”

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