Thank You very much to publisher – Penguin UK and NetGalley for the review copy.
Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery & Thrillers
Release date: 03 07 2017
Pages: ~ 387
My rating: 8/10
You can get this book here:
Amazon US (Out 26/09/17)
What I learned from this book: People, who are described by others as loners and outcasts, might be really good and interesting people, with difficult life experiences.
Description of the book: Fifteen-year-old Maisy Mitcham and her twin brother Duncan lose their mother to an asylum one night in 1960. The twins are sent to their grandmother’s country house, Nightingales. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices, to explore and to grow. That is until the day Duncan doesn’t come home from the woods. With their grandmother seeming to have little interest in her grandson’s disappearance, and the police soon giving up hope, it is left to Maisy to discover the truth. And she will start with Grace Deville. A woman who lives alone in the wood, about whom rumours abound . . .
How this book made me feel: I would like to begin by saying, that this is my first book by this author, and it really surprised me. It felt like I was reading a literary classics and I really hope it will become one day.
The main characters of this book are twins Maisy and Duncan, and author really puts a lot of effort in introducing them. Generally, all the characters in this book were very well introduced and rounded. Their personalities were shining in this book, and there were so many to choose from. Lesley Pearse kept really pleasant balance between cold and warm characters, giving a taste of both and keeping the diversity going. I really liked the way author chose different ages for the characters, so everyone, from young to old will find someone to relate to. I do love books where characters have a voice, and this book didn’t disappoint me with that, but the transition between different perspectives was sometimes difficult to follow for me, as it just starts from new paragraph. That’s why, for me, this book required some concentration and suitable atmosphere to read it.
The plot of this book starts in 1960 in West London but quite quickly it is transferred to Nightingales mansion in Burley. Well, it was way before I was born and there are so many clues of the 60ies, but during whole book I had the feeling of early nineteenth century. It was because of the elegant and refined writing style used in this book, everything in this book screamed of politeness and rich mannerism, that’s why it felt like reading one of the classic books.
The story of this novel was flowing very smoothly, without any story changing twists or turns. There were some really interesting discoveries along the way, which made the book interesting, but it was not very fast paced for me. L. Pearse was discussing really interesting topics in this book, such as: children growing up with lack of parental love; the strong bond between siblings (in this case twins); how paedophilia and child abuse affects young kids mentally and physically; why people choose to live away from society; and I believe some of them were taken from author’s own colourful life.
As I mentioned before, the writing style of this book is very refined and sophisticated, and for me it is not easy to read such work, but very refreshing at the same time. The chapters of this book are not very short, but it changes between different characters perspectives, so they are not boring. I would like to throw in a disclaimer, there are some nasty things discussed in this book, so if you have an eager sensitive child who would like to read this novel, it could be a little distressing. The ending of this book wasn’t very exciting, but it was well deserved and rounded the story fully, leaving me satisfied with the outcome of this story. So to conclude, I enjoyed reading this rich novel, filled with unexpected writing style, well rounded, interesting characters, and it discusses very wide range of life aspects. Get it, read it, enjoy it!
About the Author: Lesley Pearse is one of the UK’s best-loved novelists with fans across the globe and sales of over 2 million copies of her books to date. A true storyteller and a master of gripping story lines that keep the reader hooked from beginning to end, Pearse introduces you to characters that it is impossible not to care about or forget. There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre. Whether crime as in ‘Till We Meet Again’, historical adventure like ‘Never Look Back’, or the passionately emotive ‘Trust Me’, based on the true-life scandal of British child migrants sent to Australia in the post war period, she engages the reader completely.
Truth is often stranger than fiction and Lesley’s life has been as packed with drama as her books. She was three when her mother died under tragic circumstances. Her father was away at sea and it was only when a neighbour saw Lesley and her brother playing outside without coats on that suspicion was aroused – their mother had been dead for some time. With her father in the Royal Marines, Lesley and her older brother spent three years in grim orphanages before her father remarried – a veritable dragon of an ex army nurse – and Lesley and her older brother were brought home again, to be joined by two other children who were later adopted by her father and stepmother, and a continuing stream of foster children. The impact of constant change and uncertainty in Lesley’s early years is reflected in one of the recurring themes in her books: what happens to those who are emotionally damaged as children. It was an extraordinary childhood and in all her books, Lesley has skilfully married the pain and unhappiness of her early experiences with a unique gift for storytelling. Website – http://www.lesleypearse.com/
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com at current date. Price might change at your time of purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates. #35