This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
Gabriella Blythe’s reclusive grandmother has become far too frail to live alone, giving Gabe the excuse she has been looking for to escape her own life. Her proud grandmother, a famous artist, is reluctant for this to happen for more than one reason. Apart from not wanting her beloved granddaughter to give up on life, Jaunty Blythe has decided to relieve the guilt of her troubled past by putting it all down in writing for Gabe’s eyes, but only after Jaunty has died. To begin with, Gabe finds the solitude peaceful but that is disturbed when Fin Alexander crashes into their lives. When Gabe risks her own life to save that of a stranger, she worries that there is more to his arrival than simple chance. Jaunty is ready to face the ghosts of her past and delve into the betrayal and lies, but is Gabriella?
This looks and sounds like the perfect read for a sunny day. I was surprised to find the opening moved very slowly and I wasn’t quite hooked. After struggling to get into the novel a little, I was pleasantly rewarded as the plot picked up pace with plenty of twists along the way. The backdrop for the action is beautiful Cornwall and Jaunty’s remote cabin and studio are set in a romantic yet eerie position. The weather is as tumultuous as the relationships, creating a realistic and unpredictable feel. Jaunty is the real star of this book and her story is incredibly intriguing. The novel takes the reader back in time to World War II when Jaunty was living in Paris. She and her friends believed that the war would not touch their lives and when it did, it had devastating consequences.
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The story is laced with song lyrics, both famous, and original from the local songwriter, Max, which gave the novel a unique take on structure. He is just one of the colourful characters that sit on the periphery of the storyline until they are needed. Overall, this was an enjoyable read, especially once Jaunty and Gabe don’t seem so distant from the reader.
A heart-warming story of love and loss.