Since it’s World Book Day, I thought it would be good for the soul to write a review of a book I recently read and thoroughly enjoyed. Sal, by Mick Kitson, is newly-published on Amazon.
It’s difficult to broach the main theme of this book without giving too much away. Suffice to say that Sal commits the most serious of crimes and yet has the reader’s full sympathy. The book explores the extents to which Sal goes in the name of sisterly love but the most poignant aspect of the narrative is her endless support of her errant mother. A strong tension is created in that Sal’s stark recounting of events leaves the reader feeling far less sympathetic towards Maw.
I loved this book. It wasn’t for the fine detailing of Sal and Peppa’s time in the wilderness but for the compelling nature of the underlying story that Sal is telling throughout. The classic adventure stories that are referenced in the book are, superficially, the model for what this story itself is, but, at a deeper level, Sal leaves us questioning the society in which we live today.
I am so delighted with Bookangel’s very thorough review of ‘Miss Millie’s Groom,’ my romance set during the First World War. Here’s an excerpt:
‘I’m glad to say this is one of the few [books] where the lead character does grow and learn throughout the story. The characters come across well and are consistent in what they are doing with all their flaws intact. This makes for a more interesting read as, to begin with, Millicent’s youth and inexperience are obvious, while those around her act in a more realistic manner. The setting around the war provides a solid backdrop to the events and helps to provide an interesting set of circumstances and situations to be overcome.
As a romance, it ticks all the right boxes, and it’s a pleasure to see it come with a well-written story behind it. Readers looking for a HEA will certainly enjoy it,’ (4-star review, Bookangel.co.uk).
I am delighted that the book recently received its first rating on Barnes & Noble and it’s 5 stars! Here’s an extract from the review of the book that appeared on the Romantic Historical Reviews website in November 2016:
“Millicent is vivacious, endearing and determined. I truly enjoyed her character a great deal from the first page to the last. She reminded me of Sybil from Downton Abbey; in fact, this novel has other overtones from that drama.”
I’m delighted that Book Angel recently reviewed my WWII romance, ‘The Hangar Dance,’ and published the review in a newspaper circulated in Croydon. Many thanks to them for their commitment to promoting indie authors.
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.