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Sunday, 12 July 2015
Thursday, 12 February 2015
“Pauline Barclay weaves original, compelling stories and this one is no exception.
Bertie is not a run-of-the-mill character. Mature in age and with a gambling habit, the plot centres around the gradual destruction of his marriage to Kitty, and the intricate web of deceit which eventually destroys him. Or does it?
Set in London during the sixties, the novel has an authentic feel for those times and Barclay digs deep into her characters; their motivations and emotions are always clear, and understood.”
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Saturday, 31 January 2015
This is ‘Bookworm’s’ review.
At last, a romance with some meat on its bones, and a set of teeth.
It's a love story for grown-ups and it's slightly unconventional themes and considerations bring it right into the here and now.
This story of divided love and commitment with its gorgeous rural setting, was right up my street/field!
Jessica the ex-city trader has escaped a violent relationship and takes her small son to a country village, hoping to find some peace and stability. She meets two men; both at opposite ends of the social scale as well as in every other way. As she becomes involved in the lives of Daniel and James, she questions everything she stands for, hopes for and believes in. Rich in character and visual enjoyment, it is very much a feast of contemporary county life with a good dose of reality.
Gilli Allan does not hold back in the sex department either; she delivers the goods with the same clarity and understanding as the rest of the narrative, but then it just wouldn't work any other way. She writes with honesty and insight.
The plot was clever, with all it's emotional twists and turns, and the conclusion was just perfect, albeit a little bitter sweet...and yet all perfectly plausible.
Monday, 19 January 2015
Monday, 12 January 2015
TORN pulled me into the story of Jess from the very first paragraph. The book is a wonderful piece of prose from a gifted author with a unique voice. It is a romance with a twist, a slice from the life of Jessica Avery. On the one hand, TORN is about a thirty-something single mom who escapes a violently abusive relationship and the hassles of a stressful job in London, yearning for peace and stability in the country.
But on a deeper level, TORN is about the effects of abuse, the lurching starts and stops, the choices of an abused woman who in many ways is broken as she searches for a new life and a proper home for her child, stumbling along the way.
Listen to the rhythm of Ms. Allan’s prose as Jess speaks:
‘Tonight marks a fresh start. A new life. And I’m determined to get it right this time.’ With the words–and all the underlying unspoken implications–she felt the up-swell of elation, the utter conviction that re-making her life would be easy.
Jess’s quest is more than she bargained for, however, and she falls into the arms of one man, only to fall into the arms of another. TORN chronicles Jess’s coming of age, if you will, her growth as a person, and the novel’s scenes—those with her friends and with her child, Rory, who during the course of the narrative, has milestones of his own—include her romantic relationships with men in quite detailed and beautifully written prose. In fact, the sex scenes are masterfully written. A tightly-written novel, all the scenes, including those in the bedroom, have a purpose: they move the story along and illuminate the characters, especially Jess.
Ms. Allan has created a very complex character in Jess, totally believable, one who surprised and, at times, angered this reader, and the novel centers around her growth. And the minor characters, Danny, James, Rory, Sean have their own special voice. For those who want a compelling romance a finely written story told with rich prose, TORN by British author, Gilli Allan, is a must read.
To connect with Gilli: http://twitter.com/gilliallan (@gilliallan)
Thursday, 8 January 2015
For those who enjoy unconventional, contemporary fiction, with an edgy love story at its heart .
Jess has made a series of bad life choices and all have let her down.
Escaping London, she sets out to recreate herself in the idyllic countryside, and this time she wants to get it right!
She wants to lead a responsible, tranquil life with her young son Rory, but soon discovers stresses which pull her in opposing directions – conflict over a new bypass, between friends, and worst of all, between lovers.
Educated, experienced, and pragmatic, James is a widowed farmer whose opinions differ from, and enrage, Jess. His young shepherd, Danny, is an uneducated and inexperienced idealist. Jess is attracted to them both, and realizes if she wants her idyllic countryside life to survive, she must choose her Mr Right.
When Kitty met and married a much younger man Bertie Costain after a whirlwind romance, some would judge their union as rather convenient, after all Kitty was wealthy and independent in her own right, and what else could possibly attract a younger man to an older woman?
When Bertie begins to behave odd and different and distance towards Kitty after he had always displayed only kindness and affection. Bertie also seemed to be happy with the life they were making together. Kitty starts to feel their life unravelling and spiralling out of control.
What is going on? Is their luck about to run out? Is Bertie prepared to put the love of his life at risk by taking a huge chance and not laying all his cards on the table and let Kitty know what is deepest darkest secret is?
This story had me gripped and intrigued from the very start. I was hanging on every word due to the excellent way the story is written it really pulls you in emotionally, and you feel like the story is so real that you are actually in the room with the characters, a silent and invisible observer of a compelling drama, watching all the event of the story unravel before your eyes, and powerless to reach out and stop what you know Bertie is heading for, as both the leading characters in this book are extremely likeable and I so willed on for this story to have a happy- ever after.
This is my first read of 2015 and it is going straight to the top of my top ten reads. This is a remarkable book well worth reading. If your New Year resolution is to read, then this is a great book to get you back into books.
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