Thursday 13 August 2020

Blog Tour ~ Sight Unseen by Sandra Ireland ☼

☼ Delighted to host a stop on today's Blog Tour
on Publication Day ☼

Birlinn Limited
13 August 2020

My thanks to the publisher for my ecopy of this book
and to Love Books Group for the invitation to the blog tour

1648. Alie Gowdie marries Richard Webster during a turbulent time in Scotland's history. Charles I is about to lose his head, and little does Alie know that she too will meet a grisly end within the year.

2019. Sarah Sutherland is struggling to cope with the demands of her day job, caring for her elderly father and keeping tabs on her backpacking daughter. She wanted to be an archaeologist, but now in her forties, she is divorced, alone, and there seems to be no respite, no glimmer of excitement on the horizon. However, she does have a special affinity with the Kilgour Witch, Alie Gowdie, who lived in Sarah's cottage until her execution in 1648, and Sarah likes nothing better than to retreat into a world of sorcery, spells and religious fanaticism. Her stories delight tourists as she leads them along the cobbled streets of her home town, but what really lies behind the tale of Alie Gowdie, the Kilgour Witch? Can Sarah uncover the truth in order to right a centuries-old wrong? And what else might modern-day Kilgour be hiding, just out of sight?

What did I think about it..

In Sight Unseen we get a glimpse into the history of the past whilst following the intrepid Sarah Sutherland in the present. From keeping everyone in order at the local supermarket where she is manager, the natural worry over her daughter who is currently backpacking abroad, and the very real concern about about her elderly father who lives alone, Sarah definitely has her work cut out trying to juggle all her responsibilities. Add into the mix Sarah’s passion for history, her guided witch walks through the fictional Scottish town of Kilgour, her determination to understand more about the seventeenth mystery of Alie Gowdie, and you have all the right ingredients for a lively and entertaining read.

I really enjoyed the mix of history and mystery as both sit comfortably together in a story which kept me entertained from start to finish. Parts of it are funny, and me smile, but there are also some rather serious issues which fitted well into the overall theme of the novel. The author writes well, and brings a natural warmth to her characters so that they feel authentic and are extremely likeable, especially Sarah’s father, John, who I loved from the start. I also enjoyed Sarah’s relationship with her supermarket employees, as well as appreciating her passion for history, and her need to find out more about Alie Gowdie, a young woman who was executed for witchcraft back in the seventeenth century.

I raced through the book on a rather stormy afternoon, which gave an undeniable sense of atmosphere and I very quickly became so engrossed in the story that time passed quickly. I’m really pleased that this is the first book in the Sarah Sutherland series because as soon as I came to the cliffhanger of an ending I knew that I wanted to meet up again with Sarah and visit this fictional Scottish town again. Hopefully soon!

Sandra Ireland was awarded a Carnegie-Cameron scholarship to study for an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee, graduating with a distinction in 2014. Her work has appeared in various publications and women's magazines. She is the author of Beneath the Skin (2016), Bone Deep (2018) and The Unmaking of Ellie Rook (2019). She lives in Carnoustie, Scotland.

Twitter @22_ireland #SightUnseen #SarahSutherlandSeries



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