Sunday 6 October 2013

Sunday Round up ...

Penguin Books UK
June 2013
This is a story of small town values exposed and scrutinised and laid bare for all to see.

Rural Ireland in the 1930s is a place of snobbery, fear and unrelenting intolerance against women, when society exacted a terrible revenge on unmarried pregnancies. Even as the enigmatic Herbalist appears out of nowhere and sets up his wares in the market square, there is a sense that things will never be the same again. For main protagonist, Emily, the herbalist seems an exotic creature akin to something from the movies, with the debonair attraction of Clark Cable or Fred Astaire. However, there are other women in the town who are equally smitten with the Herbalist, and some have very dark reasons for their interest.

At first, I found the book to be rather slow, and the switch between narrators was initially quite off putting, however, as the story is revealed and the connection between the characters is forged, the book becomes quite compelling.

Beautifully written with a sparse and at times unrelenting narrative, this story lays bare the tragedy of women who lived during that time in Ireland’s history.

Penguin UK
July 2013

A lovely story about the secrets the past can reveal.

Coca Swan is rather embarrassed by her name, but the link with her mother’s love for all things Chanel is a poignant reminder of the mother she lost when she was a small child. 

Running the family antique business in a small town, brings Coca within reach of interesting curios but when she finds a vintage Chanel bag in a box of trinkets, she is plunged into a twenty year old mystery.

What then follows is a lovely story of a young woman’s quest to discover not just more about herself, but also more about the world and her place in it. 

Overall, this is a gentle easy read, with enough little frissons of excitement to keep you turning the pages to see what more Coca can discover about the past.

A great holiday read. I enjoyed it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK for the chance to read these books.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.