I can’t remember when I bought this book (maybe in my early-twenties) but I do recall attempting to read it in the past and abandoning it pretty quickly. I’m not sure why – maybe it wasn’t what I was expecting at the time. Anyway, I’m really glad that I finally got around to revisiting ‘The Country Girls’ because I found it a very easy and enjoyable read.
The first thing to say is that it’s a short novel but this is no bad thing as you get into the story very quickly and the main characters are very striking. While ‘The Country Girls’ is set in a rural Ireland belonging to a bygone age, the relationship between Caithleen and Baba seems very modern, particularly in Baba’s relentless dominance and abuse of her more socially vulnerable friend. I enjoyed the fact that Baba was a far less sympathetic character than Caithleen.
I felt that the most intriguing aspect of ‘The Country Girls’ was the ambiguity surrounding the first person narrator, Caithleen’s point of view. As this is the first book in a trilogy, perhaps one needs to read the later books to gain a clearer perspective on Caithleen’s real feelings about certain aspects of the past. But from this book alone, I was left feeling unsure about Caithleen’s view of her relationship with ‘Mr Gentleman,’ an older, solvent, married man. The relationship reads as having been exploitative and yet the narrator’s presentation of it appears naïve as Caithleen’s own adolescent interpretation of it was at the time. So the narrator doesn’t appear to be distanced from this episode, whereas she does seem to have an adult perspective on most of the rest of the story she tells. I don’t know whether this is a flaw or a strength of the novel but it was something that left the narrative feeling unresolved.
Overall, I would recommend ‘The Country Girls’ to anyone looking for a relatively short but absorbing read.
‘Collected Romances’ will be free on Kindle 11-15 March
World Book Day seems a good time to announce that ‘Collected Romances,’ my anthology of seven short historical romances, will be free for the final time on Amazon from 11th to 15th March – ending on Mother’s Day, here in the UK!
Free book time. For a limited time only you can download High Sea by Catherine E Chapman for free from Smashwords.
Samantha, a seamstress, stows away on a ship bound for Australia, disguised as a boy. Discovered by the ship’s doctor, John Seacombe, she becomes his assistant. However, she rapidly finds that her growing feelings for Doctor John mean that her disguise is a hindrance, rather than a help. And when the feisty Estelle McEwan enters the scene, things become even more complicated for Sam.
New Cover for historical romance anthology, ‘Three Romances’
I’m really thrilled to reveal my new cover for ‘Three Romances.’ It’s been difficult to find the right cover for a collection of stories that comprises a Regency romance, a Victorian romance and a story set in WWII. But I think this one is perfect. The ebook is available in all the usual places and also in print form so, if you’d like to read some sweet, historical romances to put you in the mood for 14th February, look no further…
And remember that my short Victorian romance, ‘High Sea,’ is currently free from Smashwords and its retailers. I’m particularly delighted that it’s steadily climbing up the rankings on Barnes & Noble at present.
Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
‘High Sea’ will be free on Smashwords in the run up to Valentine’s day
To celebrate St Valentine’s Day, my short Victorian romance, ‘High Sea,’ will be published on Smashwords on Thursday 5th February and will be free initially. The story is already available on Kindle and has some good ratings on Goodreads.
To readers who have said that, whilst they’ve enjoyed my short historical romances, they wished they had been longer, I’m happy to report that I am -finally!- working on a longer-length historical romance, and I’m really enjoying the process of writing a fuller story in this genre.