#Blogtour All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour All That’s Left unsaid by Tracey Lien.

About the Author

Tracey Lien was born and raised in southwestern Sydney, Australia. She earned her MFA at the University of Kansas and was previously a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. All That’s Left Unsaid is her first novel.

About the book

They claim they saw nothing. She knows they’re lying. 1996 – Cabramatta, Sydney ‘Just let him go.’

Those are words Ky Tran will forever regret. The words she spoke when her parents called to ask if they should let her younger brother Denny out to celebrate his high school graduation with friends. That night, Denny – optimistic, guileless Denny – is brutally murdered inside a busy restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, a refugee enclave facing violent crime, and an indifferent police force.

Returning home for the funeral, Ky learns that the police are stumped by her brother’s case. Even though several people were present at Denny’s murder, each bystander claims to have seen nothing, and they are all staying silent.

Determined to uncover the truth, Ky tracks down and questions the witnesses herself. But what she learns goes beyond what happened that fateful night. The silence has always been there, threaded through the generations, and Ky begins to expose the complex traumas weighing on those present the night Denny died. As she peels back the layers of the place that shaped her, she must confront more than the reasons her brother is dead. And once those truths have finally been spoken, how can any of them move on?

Review

Ky doesn’t realise her advice to give her baby brother a little freedom ultimately ends up being one of a few elements that leads to his death. Coping with his tragic death is one thing but trying to understand why the people who watched it happen are unwilling to help bring his killer to justice, is quite another. She can’t let it go.

It’s a spectacular read – nuanced and layered. When you strip away everything and are left with just the crime there is the bystander effect, the string of decisions and coincidences that lead to the event, and the emotional minefield and destruction that is left behind after a violent death.

What surrounds the event is a poignant blueprint of life as a refugee in a society that relegates you to the bottom step, because of race and heritage. The magnitude of the impact of generational trauma and PTSD on those who have lived through it, and the children born to those who have experienced it.

Those experiences determine self-imposed rules, fears, anxiety and in this case even the look away and accept the fate or hand you have been dealt with by life attitude.

I enjoyed the story surrounding the core, and to be fair the actual death is probably the least important element of the premise, which is tragic in itself. A riveting read.

Buy All That’s Left Unsaid at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher‏: ‎HQ pub date 15 Sept. 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#BlogTour The Change by Kirsten Miller

It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Change by Kirsten Miller.

About the Author

Kirsten Miller is an outstanding feminist author in the YA and children’s space, who spent twenty-five years as a strategist in the advertising industry. During that time, she worked for some of the largest agencies in the world – including J Walter Thompson, DDB, Lowe, and Ogilvy & Mather – as well as boutique agencies and an eight-person start-up. 

She’s proud to have quit a senior job at one of the most famous ad agencies in America over an ad that’s described in The Change. The Change is her first adult novel. Follow @bankstirregular on Twitter

About the book

Nessa: The Seeker, Harriett: The Punisher, Jo: The Protector – with new-found powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…

After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will speak to her.

On the cusp of fifty Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.

Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world and wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.

Review

This has got to be one of the most interesting melding of genres I have read in a long time. It’s a tale of empowerment, of sisterhood, and of being invisible in plain sight. It’s also a tale of the biological monster that lurks within us and how easy it is to dismiss women when they hit a certain age, and of course how many girls and women sink into the pages of history without leaving a footnote behind. there’s a reason for that of course, one that is ingrained deep into society.

Jo, Nessa and Harriett couldn’t be more different, and yet there is a common denominator. The kind of bond that links all women, because although some elements may be different there is no escaping certain biological changes or womanhood in general.

Harriett is considered to be the betrayed woman, who has lost her sanity and acquired a bit of a reputation in town. Jo has always been at odds with the way her life has been controlled by her body, now it’s time to channel the rage that burns within her. Then there is Nessa, the woman with a gift of bringing members of the sisterhood home, when they are lost.

If this is optioned for the screen, and it absolutely should be, then I hope that the powers that be cast women of an appropriate age-range, and not younger women acting said age. If not, the whole concept and story would be submerged in the industry norm, and it would lose the power it contains and emits.

I enjoyed it so much I have bought copies for women who need to read this – it hits a lot of the right notes when it comes to reaching a certain age as a woman, and indeed when they start to navigate the erratic and bountiful nuances of the change. Yes, I am being simultaneously polite and facetious when it comes to the great biological power of the menopause.

Even if this is a story filled with magical realism, built upon a foundation of women and their individual experiences, which are often similar in tone and nature, it is also a riveting story of mystery and murder. A crime read with the frank intensity of Blackwell’s Sound of her Voice. The truth about the worth of girls, women and their lives, and how expendable they are. It gives this read the feel of an intense thriller.

The true intensity however is driven by the power within each woman. The comparison between the powers and the upheavals women go through during life and the change is really well written. Ah, were we but able to throw off the invisible chains of societal norms and misconceptions, to avert the labels of crazy, angry or vengeful.

I can’t recommend this enough – it is an incredible read. 

Buy The Change at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#Review The Hedge Witch by Cari Thomas

The Hedge Witch: A Threadneedle novella -a small slice of the Threadneedle universe, with more to come! And the cover is amazing.

About the Author

Cari Thomas is author of the Sunday Times Bestseller, Threadneedle – her debut novel and the first in her language of Magic series.

Cari grew up in the Wye Valley area of Wales and, after studying English Literature & Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism, moved to London. She worked as a journalist and at a creative agency, before finally doing what she’d always wanted to do: quit her job and write a book about magic.

The result was Threadneedle. Be introduced to a world of wild, ancient witchcraft hidden within today’s London; where libraries made of books breathe dusty pages beneath the city, where witch clubs serve up magical cocktails and vintage shops sell memories. A world where magic gleams light and very, very dark.

Cari now lives in Wales with her husband and son. Discover more on her website: carithomas.com, Follow @Cari_Threads on Twitter.

About the book

Rowan is visiting her aunt – Winne the hedge witch – in the Welsh countryside, to get back to nature and hone her skills, as well as taking a break from her annoying sisters and enjoying some peace and quiet. However, Rowan soon comes to realise that hedges are a serious business and this isn’t quite the opportunity to rest and escape she thought it might be.

Not only that, but mysterious events around the town are causing panic in the secret magical community and cowans – non-magical folk – are starting to take notice. Can Rowan hone her hedge craft, try to make some friends and solve the riddle of the mysterious goings-on, or is magic about to be revealed to the world … or at least Wales?

Review

This is a novella that fits into the Threadneedle universe, a world of magic and of self-discovery. If you haven’t read the first book I would certainly suggest doing so. Saying that, this can absolutely be read as a standalone story and there are more to come.

Rowan is sent to spend her summer holidays with an aunt in the country, very reluctantly I might add. She would rather be spending it pretending to be part of a large social group at school – the truth is she is an outsider who struggles to fit in everywhere.

Part of the holiday regime is learning what her aunt has to teach about being a hedge witch, learning to respect the hedge and communicate with it, to harness the power that flows within her. Power that needs structure instead of erratic emotions and lack of focus, but Rowan is a teenager who would rather discover new friends and break the rules.

It’s a lovely story, a sort of tentacle that reaches from the hive – one of the many threads of magic of this series. It’s also a story for both the young and old.

Buy The Hedge Witch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏:‎ HarperVoyager pub date 7 July 2022. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Harper Collins.

Blogtour The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin.

About the Author

Nilopar Uddin was born in Shropshire to Syleti parents, who like the fictional family in The Halfways owned and ran an Indian restaurant in Wales. Every summer her family would travel for their holidays to Bangladesh to visit extended family, and this affection for the country has continued into adulthood; in 2009 she spent some months in Dhaka volunteering for BRAC, one of the largest NGOs in the world.

About the book

Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, and reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.

When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…

Review

The death of a loved one can often mean you get a glimpse into all of their secrets after their death. The kind they sit on and then let you deal with, because they no longer have to and in death you can’t hear the reactions. When Shamsur dies his daughters, Nasrin and Sabrina, are confronted with decades old secrets and the intricate cover-up, which has left terrible scars and caused emotional turmoil. The face of their family will never look the same again.

Personally I thought the choice to include a lot of the words and phrases in the story in the origin language was both a bold choice, there are plenty of readers who find things like that a stumbling block, and one that lent an essence of atmosphere to the story. An air of authenticity, which pulls the reader into the very important cultural aspect of this family saga. Glossary at the front will probably solve any grumbles.

Towards the end in the last few chapters the author manages to create this very visceral connection to the vulnerability of one of the characters – a connection that is a common denominator in all cultures. The small gestures of reassurance, the internal fear of abandonment, but above all the invisible woven emotional web of familial ties.

The difficulty of balancing dual nationalities, cultures and identities is really driven home in this story. The Western values clash with the heritage and culture, old and new generations try to bridge these gaps in different ways or not at all. Often this happens in countries where colonialism is the foundation upon which society has been built.

It’s a nuanced read, and the author tells the tale through multiple narrators in a way that brings empathy, passion and the cold hard truth of the aftermath of decisions made in the echo chamber of restricted and power hungry societies. Looking forward to more by this author.

The Halfways at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 7 July 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#Blogtour One Last Secret by Adele Parks

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour One Last Secret by Adele Parks.

About the Author

Adele Parks MBE was born in North Yorkshire. She is the author of 21 bestselling novels including most recently the Sunday Times and eBook Number One bestseller Both Of You. Over four million UK editions of her work have been sold and her books have been translated into 31 different languages. Adele’s recent Sunday Times Number One bestsellers Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck were shortlisted for the British Book Awards and have been optioned for development for TV.

She is an ambassador of the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency: two charities that promote literacy in the UK. Adele has lived in Botswana, Italy and London and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey. In 2022 she was awarded an MBE for services to literature. Follow @adeleparks on Twitter, Visit adeleparks.com

About the book

One Last Client – A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France – it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.

One Last Chance – It will be a last luxurious look at how the other half lives, before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems.

One Last Secret – Dora finds herself face to face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…

Review

I’m a sucker for a woman who says it like it is, sees the world the way it really is, and isn’t afraid to take what she wants – regardless of what society says about her.

Dora has no illusions about how she makes her money. It’s just a job, right? The risks are kept to a minimal, but of course there is only so much you can control. It also means it’s harder to move from one tier of the social structure to another – there are plenty of negative connotations when it comes to her chosen career path.

It has shades of Diary of a Call Girl with Gone Girl, and of course the trademark intense scrutiny and dissection of interpersonal relationships. This author knows exactly how to pour salt into an open wound, get readers to experience a smorgasbord of emotional ping-pong, and create a bond between even the most controversial of characters. 

The first few chapters are spectacular – brutally frank, often gross, and they give readers access to a hidden abyss. 

As far as I am concerned this is her best book yet, and it should be added to her growing list of titles being optioned for television. Like a fine wine gets better with age, Parks pushes her boundaries and creativity with each new book.

Buy One Last Secret at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#BlogTour Aurora by David Koepp

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Aurora David Koepp.

About the Author

David Koepp is one of the most successful screenwriters working today, known for his work with Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma. His screenplays include the first two Jurassic Park films, Death Becomes Her, Carlito’s Way, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, Panic Room, War of the Worlds, Angels and Demons and Inferno.

Koepp’s debut thriller, Cold Storage, was greeted by a raft of acclaim from writers like Blake Crouch, Linwood Barclay, and Stephen King.

Shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller of the Year, Cold Storage has now sold nearly 50,000 copies.

About the book

When the lights go out no one is safe… A planet without power. – When a solar storm hits the earth, the lights go out across the planet. But this time the blackout won’t be over soon – it could last for years. Aubrey and her stepson now face the biggest challenge of their lives.

 A society without rules. – Soon they hear rumours of riots, the struggle for food becomes real, and even within their small communities, the rule of law is collapsing. Aubrey’s estranged brother Thom, a self-made billionaire who abandoned her years ago, retreats to a gilded desert bunker where he can ride out the crisis in perfect luxury.

 A race to build a better world… But the complicated history between the siblings is far from over, and what feels like the end of the world is just the beginning of a personal reckoning long overdue…

Review

I want to start this review with a thank you to the author for the foreword – thanks, I really needed to know that. – Starts to prep, buys tinned goods, digs garden and plants produce, oh and let’s not forget the generator. My father, who always tends to quote a possible zombie apocalypse for his semi-prepping, feels completely validated by this scenario – sans zombies of course.

A solar storm knocks out the power – the blackout rejigs life as everyone knows it, there are no rules of law. Survival of the fittest, the smartest and the most ruthless. Aubrey finds herself stuck with a moody hormonal teenager, who isn’t even a blood relative, and an violent ex-hubby with a lack of boundaries. Her brother Thom, is someone wealthy enough to save himself and his loved ones. He wants to keep Aubrey safe, but she is fiercely independent, and he has to learn the hard way that not everything or everyone can be bought, especially when the established hierarchy and system falls apart and it is every person for themselves.

What I really enjoyed about this story is the wake-up call, the blast of reality, and the way it reads like a written account of a disaster, which could be read by future generations. Also the inability of government at any level to react to an impending crisis with scientific reasoning or common sense, and instead putting greed and profit above safety and potential loss of life. That in itself is indicative of how something like this premise could play out.

The story is almost laid out like a script waiting to be cast. You can envision the screen version, as you read the story. I wouldn’t hesitate to grab another book by this author or recommend him for that matter.

Buy Aurora at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 9 Jun. 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Harper Collins.

#Blogtour Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan.

About the Author

Sarah Morgan is a USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of romance and women’s fiction. She has sold over 21 million copies of her books and her trademark humour and warmth have gained her fans across the globe.

Sarah lives near London, England and when she isn’t writing or reading, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking or riding her mountain bike.

Join Sarah’s mailing list at sarahmorgan.com for all book news. Follow @SarahMorgan_ on Twitter

About the book

A marriage in the spotlight – Joanna Whitman’s high-profile marriage held more secrets than she cares to remember, so when her ex-husband dies, she doesn’t know what to feel. But when she discovers that he’s left behind a pregnant young woman, Joanna is forced to act. She knows exactly how brutal the spotlight on them both will be…unless she can find a way for them to disappear.

A beach house hideaway – Ashley Blake is amazed when Joanna suggests they lie low at her beach house in her sleepy Californian hometown. Joanna should be hating her, not helping her. But alone and pregnant, Ashley needs all the support she can find.

A summer of new beginnings – Joanna’s only goal for the summer is privacy. All Ashley wants is space to plan for her and her baby’s future. But when an old flame reappears, and secrets spill out under the hot summer sun, this unlikely friendship is put to the test…

Review

Are you supposed to feel sad if your philandering ex-hubby has a fatal accident and just happens to be in the company of young, attractive woman when it happens. What is the emotional protocol, and what is the public expectation when he is a celebrity, and because of that you are too? The world is eager to know what Joanna knows about his death and the mysterious woman who was with him when he died.

It’s an interesting topic to wade into, the question of fame and whether being a public figure gives the media and fans the right to demand access to each moment of their lives. Does being in the limelight mean you automatically sign away your right to privacy? Does wanting a story or a headline warrant hounding a celebrity, perhaps even to the point of distress or worse?

I think there is a common misconception about public persona and interaction being part of their job, as opposed to the world understanding that a star, celebrity and public figure also has a right to privacy. Possibly even more so, when the majority of their lives is out there to be gawked at and commented on.

The author captures the invasive nature of the press, the lack of trust in the people around them, and the fragility of the person in the midst of news hungry media and gossipmongers. It must be incredibly difficult to realise that close friends and family will happily sell your intimate moments, your photos and your secrets for money or moment of fame.

I thought it was a little dialogue heavy and repetitive in the middle, however it is still a good read. The core is, for me at least, understanding that there is always a way forward even when your heart breaks, your trust in people is destroyed and every door seems to be locked. They aren’t. It’s also about misunderstandings and the way relationships can be redefined as we grow older, and as we enter new periods of our lives. Morgan always delivers a premise that gives plenty of food for thought.

Buy Beach House Summer at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 26 May 2022. Buy at Amazon comAt Harper Collins.

#BlogTour The Wildwater Women by Ellie Wood

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Wildwater Women by Ellie Wood.

About the Author

Ellie Wood was born and raised in the Lake District where she still lives. Passionate about the benefits of getting out into the wild, she’s swum and walked the landscape that inspires her writing since she was small. Follow @EllieWoodAuthor on Twitter

About the book

Sometimes the best things in life happen when you dare to get out of your depth. – Abby lives and works in the heart of the Lake District. She splits her time between bringing up her daughter, working in the Plum Pie Bakery – and dreaming of the time before her husband, Ben, left.

Lori is on holiday from the States, hoping to find her way to the lake that she’s looked at for years in a picture on her wall back home.

Rebecca is contemplating taking the plunge too. Despite her immaculate appearance Rebecca is keeping quiet about a childhood trauma which has left her scared of the water.

Clarissa is the founder of The Wildwater Women. An all-year-round open-water swimming veteran, and with a fearsome manner, she knows the lakes like no one else and her boundless energy defies her years.

Four women, all from very different lives, all with reason to step into the water and wash away their past. But will the friendship they build be enough to keep them afloat when they each must face their fears? 

Review

I read a story a few years ago that featured Wildwater swimming in it. I can remember thinking what a wonderfully adventurous thing to take part in. It’s that element of excitement and overcoming of obstacles that leads the way in this story, which is one about sisterhood, women and the way they support each other.

Regardless of whether it is single mother Abby, Lori the tourist, Rebecca with the flawless exterior and crumbling interior, or the leader of the Waterwomen herself – Clarissa. Together they brave the weather, the environment, and of course the individual stressors of each woman to become one with nature – and a force of nature at the same time.

In this story the Wildwater swimming is symbolic in a sense that it becomes the tool, experience, event that gives each one of the women something very specific. It might be different depending on the person or the same and just open to interpretation, depending on the frame of reference.

Freedom, forgiveness, peace, acceptance of self, and learning to grip life by the hypothetical horns, but most importantly it’s about learning to love themselves. I loved the way the author spun a delicate web of relationships and connections between the women.  Each one of them consciously or subconsciously supporting the other. Helping each other to confront fears, shame, embarrassment to ultimately be able to embrace the small moments of happiness and the beauty of life, and of course the environment.

I look forward to the next story Wood brings to the table. The way people, surroundings and emotions are woven to together to create a story with a strong heartbeat – well I think there is much more to come.

Buy The Wildwater Women at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperNorth pub date 28 April 2022. Buy at Amazon comAt Harper Collins.

#BlogTour With This Kiss by Carrie Hope Fletcher

It’s my turn on the BlogTour With This Kiss by Carrie Hope Fletcher.

About the Author

Carrie Hope Fletcher is an actress, singer, author and vlogger. Carrie’s first book, All I Know Now, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and her debut novel, On the Other Side, also went straight to number one.

Carrie played the role of Eponine in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre in London’s West End for almost three years. She has since starred in and received awards for a number of productions including The War of the Worlds, The Addams Family and Heathers: The Musical. She is currently starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella in the lead role.

Carrie lives just outside of London with numerous fictional friends that she keeps on bookshelves, just in case. Carrie loves to connect with readers on social media. Find her on: Twitter – @CarrieHFletcher, Instagram – @CarrieHopeFletcher and @PrattleandPages

About the book

From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die.

Lorelai has never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if it’s her kiss that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was eighteen.

Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t… can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?

Sweepingly romantic, utterly original, and backed by a show-stopping campaign, prepare to fall in love.

Review

Lorelai has a special gift that determines her life and the love she chooses or not. She knows that sharing an intimate moment – a kiss – also means being confronted with the stark reality of destiny. It’s too much to endure, which is why she is hesitant to love and care for someone. 

But love comes to us in unexpected moments and Lorelai has to navigate her feelings towards Grayson, which she finds increasingly hard to control, whilst simultaneously keeping him safe at all costs.

I must admit I was a little confused by the token trans moment, which fulfilled nothing other than an attempt to show allyship on the author’s part. It was awkward, written from a perspective of everyone except that character and was just a superfluous moment with no plot context.

It’s also Magical Realism that slots, as far as I am concerned, into the Young Adult category. It is written in a very young voice – teenage almost.

I loved the concept, but thought it wasn’t given the opportunity to flourish and grow into something with more depth. The concept or premise of whether a person would choose to take the same path and create the same history and life if they knew where that path would eventually lead them. If you knew how long that path would be.

Buy With This Kiss at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 14 April 2022. At WaterstonesAt Harper Collins.

#BlogTour The Unravelling by Polly Crosby

An absolutely brilliant novel – it should definitely be on some award lists this year! Welcome to the BlogTour for The Unravelling by Polly Crosby.

About the AuthorPolly Crosby lives in Norfolk with her husband and son, and her very loud and much-loved Oriental rescue cat, Dali. The Illustrated Child is her first novel. Her second novel, The Unravelling, is out on 6th January ‘22. To Find more about Polly’s writing, visit pollycrosby.comSign up to Polly’s newsletter here. Follow @WriterPolly on Twitter

About the book

When Tartelin Brown accepts a job with the reclusive Marianne Stourbridge, she finds herself on a wild island with a mysterious history.

Tartelin is tasked with hunting butterflies for Marianne’s research. But she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing than the curious creatures that inhabit the landscape. Because the island and Marianne share a remarkable history, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars, and some terrible secrets.

As Tartelin pieces together Marianne’s connection to the island, she must confront her own reasons for being there. Can the two women finally face up to the painful memories that bind them so tightly to the past?

Atmospheric and deeply emotional, The Unravelling is the captivating novel from the author of The Illustrated Child.

Review

Marianne is crotchety solitary figure, who is bound to her home in both physical and an emotional way. The memories, experiences and relationships that lack the right kind of closure, which will allow her some peace, are destined to remain grains of dirt under her skin. Irritations that can be dismissed, but never quite forgotten.

She has hired yet another young girl as an assistant to aid her in the accumulation of a variation of species, mainly butterflies, in order to examine and prove a theory she is working on. Tarteline finds herself a little shell-shocked by her new residence and employer. Apparently living without the common comforts of a 21st century home and a wee bit like society over a century ago, is quite the norm on this peculiar and yet beautiful island.

A story told over the span of Marianne’s lifetime, we encounter her as the curious child eager to be the apple of her father’s eye, the young woman coping with mistakes borne out of hurt pride, and the older woman filled with dreams and regrets. Can young Tarteline, who is still grieving her own loss, begin to understand her remarkable and demanding employer.

I absolutely adored this book. Crosby is an amazing writer with an innate ability to create literary and storytelling magic, as she navigates emotions, nature, memories, trauma and the fragility of human relationships. I can only hope this book is recognised as the gem it is going forward. It will definitely be going on my best reads of ’22 list. I can’t wait to read whatever she comes up with next.

Buy The Unravelling at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 6 Jan. 2022. Buy at Amazon comAt Harper Collins.