- interesting, clearly defined characters
- wonderful arty motifs threaded through the story (knitting, crochet, painting and sculpture)
- a carefully planned plot tantalisingly “unravelled” through an ambitious mix of timeframes
- the clear sense of place, whether in London or Lyme Regis
- an equally clear depiction of the various eras in which each piece of the story is set
Without spoiling the plot, I’d like to say that although it was not a comfortable read, it was a realistic and honest one. The author’s difficult decision about how it should end was, for me at least, the right one. (Sorry, that’s a bit of a coded message, but I REALLY don’t want to spoil the plot!)
Brave Depiction of Terminal Illness
It’s a particularly hard read towards the end for anyone who has nursed a relative through terminal cancer. Speaking as one who has done that, I can attest that the book gives a moving and accurate depiction of the struggle for dignity against the disease. But it was also strangely life-affirming.
Its theme of families falling out, unforgiving, for years, is effectively handled. I predict that any readers whose families are feuding may well be persuaded by the book to repair such rifts while they have time.
Willing Suspension of Disbelief
I must admit that there were a few episodes I didn’t find totally believable, and had to apply “willing suspension of disbelief” to skirt around them. Having said that, the storyline was so gripping that I read it in a relatively short space of time as I was so bound up with the story.
Overall, VERY impressive for a first novel, and I look forward to reading more by this author. A brave and moving book, highly recommended.
For more information about Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn, visit her author website: www.lindsaystanberryflynn.co.uk