#BlogTour THE VISITORS by CAROLINE SCOTT #BookReview @RandomTTours @CScottBooks @simonschusterUK



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE VISITORS by CAROLINE SCOTT. 
My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK


From the highly acclaimed author of The Photographer of the Lost, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick, comes a tale of a young war widow and one life-changing, sun-drenched visit to Cornwall in the summer of 1923…

Esme Nicholls is to spend the summer in Cornwall. Her late husband Alec, who died fighting in the war, grew up in Penzance, and she’s hoping to learn more about the man she loved and lost.
 
While there, she will stay with Gilbert, in his rambling seaside house, where he lives with his former brothers in arms. Esme is fascinated by this community of eccentric artists and former soldiers, and as she gets to know the men and their stories, she begins to feel this summer might be exactly what she needs.
 
But everything is not as idyllic as it seems – a mysterious new arrival later in the summer will turn Esme’s world upside down, and make her question everything she thought she knew about her life, and the people in it.

Full of light, laughter and larger-than-life characters, The Visitors is a novel of one woman finally finding her voice and choosing her own path forwards.



Praise for Caroline Scott:

‘A page-turning literary gem’  The Times , Best Books of 2020

‘A touching novel of love and loss’  Sunday Times

‘A beautifully written must-read’  heat

‘A gripping, devastating novel’ Sarra Manning, RED

‘A powerful novel’  Good Housekeeping

‘A heartbreaking read’ Anita Frank

‘Breathtaking exploration of loss, love and precious memories’ My Weekly, Pick of the Month

‘Achingly moving and most beautifully written’ Rachel Hore

‘This beautiful book packs a huge emotional punch’  Fabulous

‘Drew me in from the first line and held me enthralled until the very end’ Fiona Valpy

‘Quietly devastating’  Daily Mail

‘A compulsive, heart-wrenching read’ Liz Trenow

‘Powerful’  Woman & Home

‘Page turning, mysterious, engrossing and compelling’ Lorna Cook

‘A carefully nuanced, complex story’  Woman’s Weekly

‘Caroline Scott evokes the damage and desolation of the Great War with aching authenticity’ Iona Grey

‘Poignant’  Best

‘Momentous, revelatory and astonishing historical fiction!’ Historical Novel Society

‘Wonderful and evocative’ Suzanne Goldring

‘Based on true events, this is a powerful story’  Bella

‘Immersive, poignant, intricately woven’ Judith Kinghorn

‘An evocative read’  heat

‘The story left me breathless’ Kate Furnivall

‘A poignant hymn to those who gave up their lives for their country and to those who were left behind’ Fanny Blake

‘I was utterly captivated by this novel’ Isabelle Broom

PUBLISHED BY SIMON & SCHUSTER

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on thelandscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France. The Photographer of the Lost was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick.

MY REVIEW

Caroline Scott has done it again!! Created a storyline and characters that captivate and affect you emotionally as you connect with their plight and watch the drama unfold as they try to make sense of the world, and do their best to move on.

Set in 1923 Cornwall, this is the story of Esme who is looking to try and come to terms with the grief she feels after losing her husband in the Great War.  She comes to the area as that is where he grew up, and she wants to see if that will help her.   She stays amongst a group of artists/soldiers who are all dealing with their own pain and suffering, but the community brings them some peace and comfort.

What stuck me most about this book was the link with nature.  There are so many mentions that it just brings the surroundings to life and that healing feeling that only nature can bring to a soul.  

One of the soldiers she meets is Rory, and he deals with his past by writing about it and that not only helps him, but helps Esme too as she reads his experiences of the war to help her connect with her husband. 

The connection with nature is there again as you read about his experiences in the war – at times it feels like they’re on a birdwatching break, but it cleverly shows that by them noticing the nature around them, helps them to cope with the brutality of war that they are facing on a daily basis.  It makes them feel more human – they’re just young men who have been sent off to be part of something so horrific and totally alien to the normal side of human behaviour.  Watching the local wildlife helps them detach.

Esme is then rocked by a mystery visitor arriving in the area and you get the sense that maybe the past will never leave her, despite her desire to try and move on with her life.

This was a beautifully written story set over a few different timelines that blend seamlessly.  The connection between characters was wonderfully touching and I adored it!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI


ABOUT THE BOOK

A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being

After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house–a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.

At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where “things happen.” He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.

And he meets his very own Book–a talking thing–who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki–bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.


PUBLISHED BY CANONGATE BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK
Amazon

MY REVIEW


Poignant, emotional, inventive – I think those words best sum up this reading experience! It has one of the most novel ways of telling the story via 2 narrators! Young Benny who is at the heart of the story, alongside the voice of ‘the book’! And Benny hears the book telling his story too which leads to some brilliant exchanges between the two of them and it just makes reading their story even more captivating.

Young Benny is dealing with the sudden death of his father and this trauma leads to him starting to hear voices. And not just any voices, but the thoughts and feelings of everyday items that crowd his mind leading to those around him worry as to what is wrong with him. His mother tries her best to be there for her son, but she’s dealing with her own grief and her hoarding starts to spiral out of control. There’s a lot of exploration of mental health in this story and the author has approached the subjects with compassion and care.

It is a very difficult book to review as there’s so many threads to it, but it all boils down to humans and their fragility. Their strength. Their quirks. And the ways that people find comfort, be that in the pages of a book or through connecting with others.

Your heart just breaks for Benny at times as there’s nobody around who understands what he’s going through. But he finds a strength somewhere deep down to try and make sense of it on his own, while watching his mother go through her issues. There’s a clear message throughout about decluttering/letting go of the past to help clear your mind and this comes across loud and clear in a very creative way.

It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measures and is one of those books where the characters stay with you long after the final page. Wonderful!


★★★★★

#BookReview FEMLANDIA by CHRISTINA DALCHER #Audiobook

ABOUT THE BOOK


A chilling look into an alternate near future where a woman and her daughter seek refuge in a women-only colony, only to find that the safe haven they were hoping for is the most dangerous place they could be.

Miranda Reynolds always thought she would rather die than live in Femlandia. But that was before the country sank into total economic collapse and her husband walked out in the harshest, most permanent way, leaving her and her sixteen-year-old daughter with nothing. The streets are full of looting, robbing, and killing, and Miranda and Emma no longer have much choice—either starve and risk getting murdered, or find safety. And so they set off to Femlandia, the women-only colony Miranda’s mother, Win Somers, established decades ago.

Although Win is no longer in the spotlight, her protégé Jen Jones has taken Femlandia to new heights: The off-grid colonies are secluded, self-sufficient, and thriving—and Emma is instantly enchanted by this idea of a safe haven. But something is not right. There are no men allowed in the colony, but babies are being born—and they’re all girls. Miranda discovers just how the all-women community is capable of enduring, and it leads her to question how far her mother went to create this perfect, thriving, horrifying society.


PUBLISHED BY   HQ

PURCHASE LINK
Amazon

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audio version of this book – extremely well read by the narrator!

 The author is back with more dystopian fiction, and it’s even more scary than ever! The world has gone through many changes and what is left is bleak, especially for women. It’s every man for himself and woe betide any woman who gets in the way. That leads to some upsetting and harrowing scenes at times, so beware if you are easily triggered. Miranda and her daughter Emma have to look out for themselves and desperate times lead to desperate measures, and Miranda makes the decision for them both to head to Femlandia – an all female ‘utopia’ set up by her mother – in the hope for some safety and relief.
You follow them on the journey to Femlandia, but the main action takes place when they arrive and Miranda is soon left to face the facts that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s a very scary look at human behaviour and shows that both male and females are all flawed, especially when power is involved.

They face a shocking truth when it comes to pregnancies in the camp, along with all mentions of male history being removed from the past which leads to young girls growing up with no knowledge of life on the ‘outside’.

This was a shocking read at times, although it did run out of puff a little towards the end and it just left me feeling hatred towards men and women in equal measures!! No matter the best intentions of some, there’s always those who are more interested in power and control over others with no thought to the consequences. A bleak but gripping read!


★★★★

#BookReview THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY by AMOR TOWLES



ABOUT THE BOOK


The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future.


PUBLISHED BY HUTCHINSON


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

Blackwell’s – signed edition

MY REVIEW

Amor Towles does it again! Another spectacular and engrossing story that captures your heart and imagination from the get go! Another one of those books where I didn’t want it to end and feel bereft without these characters in my imagination anymore!!

The story picks up with Emmett being driven home by the warden, back to his younger brother who has been with neighbours since Emmett was taken away a year ago. He is regretful over his choice of action in the past and vows to make up for it, especially where his family is concerned. With his house being foreclosed on, it’s time for he and Billy (his wonderful brother!) to make a new life elsewhere and that was their plan – until Duchess and Wooly show up! They’ve hitched a ride with the warden too, albeit without his knowledge, and now they have scores of their own to settle.

What follows is a road trip with a difference! They all set out together , get parted, reunited, and you’re constantly on edge as you watch their new paths unfold. The detail in the characters and their personalities are beautifully written, especially the brothers, and it’s just a masterclass of the connection between humans. The disappointments, regrets, hopes and fears and I just totally lost myself in their world.

Their paths collide again in New York as Emmett tries to get his plans back on track but things don’t always work out as he envisaged. Billy is just a wonder of a character – a wise old soul in a very young body, and I just found his outlook on life so amazing and innocent. I was smitten!! It’s emotional and captivating in equal measures. Told from various viewpoints, it’s seamless in flow and never dips in pace or drama!

This has been one of my favourite reads of 2021 and I’m already itching to pick it up again and start the journey with them all over again! Brilliant!!


★★★★★

#BookReview STILL LIFE by SARAH WINMAN #audiobook


ABOUT THE BOOK


By the bestselling, prize-winning author of When God was a Rabbit and Tin Man, Still Life is a beautiful, big-hearted, richly tapestried story of people brought together by love, war, art, flood… and the ghost of E.M. Forster.

We just need to know what the heart’s capable of, Evelyn.
And do you know what it’s capable of?
I do. Grace and fury.

It’s 1944 and in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as the Allied troops advance and bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening together.

Ulysses Temper is a young British solider and one-time globe-maker, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and relive her memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view.

These two unlikely people find kindred spirits in each other and Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses mind that will shape the trajectory of his life – and of those who love him – for the next four decades.

Moving from the Tuscan Hills, to the smog of the East End and the piazzas of Florence, Still Life is a sweeping, mischievous, richly-peopled novel about beauty, love, family and fate.


PUBLISHED BY FOURTH ESTATE


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audio version of this book – exquisitely read by the author!! A must listen!!

Simply superb!!! The most wonderful story!! This was everything I love in a book! Endearing characters, amazing settings and historical backdrops! All blended to create a world you get sucked in to and you’re bereft when the book finishes! I want to be back in the East End. Back in Tuscany and Florence! And back with the most wonderful creation of characters that enchant you with their lives!

The start of the book is the meeting of a young English soldier in WW2 meeting with an elder art historian, and their connection is instantaneous. What follows is their lives over a number of years and how those war years stay strong in their minds. In both their lives their friends become family, and you are taken along for the ride through their private and professional lives, their loves and losses, their highs and lows…both in England and in Italy. They all endure so much throughout their lives but that sense of community and support never goes away and you really connect with the passion they all show – be it for art, their surroundings, or for one another.

It was all so spellbinding! I laughed ( a lot!), tears were shed and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Still can’t!! Glorious!!


★★★★★

#BookReview THE IMPOSSIBLE TRUTHS OF LOVE by HANNAH BECKERMAN



ABOUT THE BOOK


From bestselling author Hannah Beckerman comes a moving story about memory, secrets, and what it really means to feel that you’re one of the family.

When Nell’s father makes a deathbed declaration that hints at a long-held secret, it reignites feelings of isolation that have plagued her for years. Her suspicions about the family’s past only deepen when her mother, Annie, who is losing her memories to dementia, starts making cryptic comments of her own.

Thirty-five years earlier, Annie’s life was upended by a series of traumas—one shock after another that she buried deep in her heart. The decisions she made at the time were motivated by love, but she knew even then that nobody could ever understand—let alone forgive—what she did.

As the two women’s stories unravel, a generation apart, Nell finally discovers the devastating truth about her mother’s past, and her own.

In this beautifully observed and emotionally powerful story of identity, memory and the nature of family, Hannah Beckerman asks: To what lengths would you go to protect the ones you love?


PUBLISHED BY LAKE UNION PUBLISHING


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon


MY REVIEW


Emotional. Powerful. Perfection!

This was one of those stories that I found myself completely under its’ spell immediately! Beautifully written, it captures all the emotions and frustrations of a family dealing with grief, dementia and secrets. From the punchy and emotional opening you are seeing the story through the eyes of Nell, who is faced with watching her father die and on his deathbed he says something to her that rocks her and she can’t get it out of her head.

So she’s on a quest to discover the reality and face some uncomfortable home truths as the storyline flits from the now to then, and this way of telling the story works perfectly, especially as the truth begins to reveal itself.

It’s full of the drama of a family who are emotional but dealing with the realities of life. Her mothers’ dementia also starts to throw up little cryptic clues that cause more confusion for Nell, and going back to the past through the eyes of Annie (the mother) also becomes an extremely emotional story and I just found myself transfixed by the drama playing out in both timelines. The author does a wonderful job of capturing all the differing emotions between family members, the resentments, the tensions, and you can’t help but get caught up in the emotion of some devastating revelations. A wonderful and compelling piece of storytelling.


★★★★★

#BookReview CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON @Polly_Heron



ABOUT THE BOOK


Nancy Pike is out of her depth. A pupil at the Miss Heskeths’ school for surplus girls, she’s blundering through her lessons and her job placements. She never wanted to leave her beloved pie-shop job, but she knows she needs to better herself. Her only joy is getting to know the children at St Anthony’s orphanage. And working for Mr Zachary Milner twice a week.

Zachary’s new business is off to a flying start. Alone in the world since the death of his brother, he’s determined to do well for the both of them. And Nancy’s presence has brought a little sunshine back into his life. But when she makes a terrible mistake that puts his livelihood in jeopardy, he has no choice but to let her go.

As Nancy struggles to find a way to make it up to him, she must also try to make this Christmas the best the orphans have ever seen – or risk losing yet another chance to help her family. As she battles the prejudices around her, and her own fear, can she bring a little Christmas cheer to the orphanage, and maybe even to Zachary Milner?


PUBLISHED BY CORVUS

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon £7.64

WHSmith £6.55

MY REVIEW

The Surplus Girls are back with a fabulous festive offering (can be easily read as a standalone!), and it was just wonderful to be back with old friends again to see what life is throwing their way and how acts of support and compassion carry them all through, amidst some twists and turns.

This book features the story of Nancy, but does feature previous characters so it’s always brilliant to catch up with their lives and see how things are panning out – especially when there’s good news to be shared!! sshhh no spoilers!

Nancy is a great character as she is fairly settled working at the local pie shop, but her father wants more for her so she is sent to the local business school, run by Miss Hesketh, and it’s fair to say she doesn’t settle in too well! But life begins to fall into place for her when she is given a job at the local orphanage and she really shines as a young woman amongst the children. I fell in love with Nancy as she is one of those characters who always gives of her best, even if things don’t always work to plan!

There’s always a villain to despise in this series, and the character to boo in this story is another evil creation! The supporting cast of characters always help bring a great depth to the story and add so many layers of interest to the goings on of the time and issues that people were facing.

The real strength of these books are the characters and the empathy you feel for them on a number of levels. They were all doing their best for their families despite the many pressures of the day and it really brings home that warm feeling as you read their tales and it’s just another wonderful addition to a super series!

★★★★★

#BlogTour FOR YOUR OWN GOOD by SAMANTHA DOWNING #BookReview #foryourowngood #samanthadowning @smariedowning @michaeljbooks

Delighted to be with you today as the latest stop on the Blog Tour for the fabulously thrilling FOR YOUR OWN GOOD by SAMANTHA DOWNING.  
My thanks to the author and publisher for letting me be part of the tour and sharing my thoughts!


ABOUT THE BOOK




SOME LESSONS CAN BE DEADLY . . . The unputdownable new thriller from the author of international sensation and Richard & Judy pick, MY LOVELY WIFE

‘Dark, sly and delicious . . . totally original – and totally compelling’ 
JP DELANEY, bestselling author of PLAYING NICE
 Samantha Downing is totally the real deal. Wry and dark and witty and clever’ SARAH PINBOROUGH, bestselling author of BEHIND HER EYES
‘Wonderfully dark and twisty. I raced through it, desperate to know how it would end’ BA PARIS
_______

Teddy Crutcher won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy. Everyone thinks he’s brilliant.
Only you know the truth.

They all smile when he tells us his wife couldn’t be more proud.
But no-one has seen her in a while.

They’re impressed when he doesn’t let anything distract him – even the tragic death of a school parent.
Even when the whispers start, saying it was murder.

You’re sure Teddy is hiding something about what happened that day.

You’re sure you can prove it.

But you didn’t stop to think that when it comes to catching a killer, there’s no place more dangerous than just one step behind . . .
_______

‘An irresistibly tale tale of parents, pupils and poison: the American dream turned suburban nightmare’ TM LOGAN

‘A brilliant psychological black comedy with a really fresh feel, packed with sly observation and outrageous twists’ DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED BY  MICHAEL JOSEPH

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW


I have never known a book full of so many twisted, devious characters… no wonder I loved it!!  This is one of those stories that leave you horrified, excited, appalled and thoroughly entertained from page one to the last!!


Teddy, a teacher, is at the heart of the story and he has very particular ways to get the best out of his students.  Many don’t agree with those ways but it gets results! He just finds himself taking it to another level at times and it’s shocking to see how devious he is!!
Add to the mix desperate parents trying to get the best for their children – by any means necessary! – and students who have their own ways of being devious, and you’re left with a school that hits the headlines for all the wrong reasons!!


The story excels through its’ use of using different characters to tell their side of the stories! They’re all a little unhinged and that just adds to the fun of it all!  From staff to students, there’s such a dark undertone throughout, and as a reader you are just puzzled as to where the story is going and just how far things will be taken!! And believe me, they’re taken to the edge!!


Teddy knows he has the futures of his students in his hands and he plays up to that in how he tries to control matters.  Everyone needs to dance to his tune … or else!The darkness comes in the form of murder, and we’re left with the task of working out who committed the murders, and why others are taking the blame!! 

 I loved the madness of the storyline, the extreme characters and the chilling outcome! It is one of those books that you find very hard to put down once you start reading – the crazy keeps calling you back!!  Terrific thriller!

★★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer2021 A SECRET SCOTTISH ESCAPE by JULIE SHACKMAN #BookReview

This is book 17 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021 

ABOUT THE BOOK


When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.

Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him…


PUBLISHED BY ONE MORE CHAPTER

MY REVIEW

This was a totally captivating story, following the story of Layla who is dealt a devastating blow when her fiancee dies and discovers a secret about him that crushes her. She had been so settled in the area, but all her thoughts now are about running away and starting again elsewhere as she’s feeling so let down.

The local community are very supportive to her, and she has such a wonderful relationship with her Dad that doubts start to creep into her mind about leaving, and she starts to get excited about creating a new local music venue. Music has always played a big part of her life and she wants to find a way to attract new tourists to the area.

Layla is one of those characters who can’t NOT get involved in things, despite her best efforts! She feels like she wants to help everybody, and there are plenty of people to help in this book as she reaches out to a reclusive musician who lives in the area – his story intrigues her, as does he as a person, and she finds she becomes more involved with wanting to know more. He’s a very jekyll/hyde personality with her so she knows he’s hiding something….her journalistic skills come in very handy trying to get to the bottom of it all!

I loved the setting and the sense of community in this book. There are many secrets that come to light that threaten to darken her light but you can’t do anything but admire her determination to see a project through!


★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer2021 THE FAIR BOTANISTS by SARA SHERIDAN #BookReview



This is Book 16 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021

ABOUT THE BOOK


It’s the summer of 1822 and Edinburgh is abuzz with rumours of King George IV’s impending visit. In botanical circles, however, a different kind of excitement has gripped the city. In the newly-installed Botanic Garden, the Agave Americana plant looks set to flower – an event which only occurs once in several decades. When newly widowed Elizabeth arrives in Edinburgh to live with her late husband’s aunt Clementina, she’s determined to put her unhappy past in London behind her. As she settles into her new home, she becomes fascinated by the beautiful Botanic Garden which border the grand house and offers her services as an artist to record the rare plant’s impending bloom. In this pursuit, she meets Belle Brodie, a vivacious young woman with a passion for botany and the lucrative, dark art of perfume creation. Belle is determined to keep both her real identity and the reason for her interest the Garden secret from her new friend. But as Elizabeth and Belle are about to discover, secrets don’t last long in this Enlightenment city. And when they are revealed, they can carry the greatest of consequences . .

PUBLISHED BY HODDER & STOUGHTON

MY REVIEW


This was a blooming treat of a read! Full of history, strong and interesting female characters and a wonderful gardening backdrop, it had everything you want from a story and it just sweeps you along and transports you back in time with ease!

Set in 1822, amidst the backdrop of the botanic gardens of Edinburgh, you are following the characters involved with the set up and the general buzz of the town with the forthcoming visit of King George IV. But what gets more buzz than a royal visitor, is the flowering of a rare plant and the impact that has on different people for different reasons are followed in the story – some with more devious plans than others!!

Belle and Elizabeth are the main female characters and they are very different but both share a love for botany. As their paths cross you sense the secrets they’re both holding back but understand that they respect one another for being such independent souls.

I loved the frenetic energy of this book! There’s so much going on with the various characters and their scheming and plotting!! You really get a great sense of the time period and the expectation that fills the air with the impending royal arrival, alongside that of the rare flower set to bloom, and you find yourself totally immersed in the drama and conflicting characters! Loved it!


★★★★