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Friday, 1 April 2016
Midnight Sky by Jan Ruth
Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights. (www.gillianhamer.com)
What we thought: This is the second novel I've read by this author and she is fast turning into one of my favourite authors of modern day contemporary fiction - and as the books are set in North Wales, one of my favourite places on Earth - then it gets extra points from me for location!
I loved the style and tone of the book from page one. Separate threads, cleverly interwoven, keep us on our toes, seeing two sides of one family from, on one hand, chic, cosmopolitan interior designer, Laura, and from the opposite angle, frustrated, stay-at-home mum, in her sister, Maggie.
Added to the mix we have local horse-whisperer, James, whose dark, brooding talents with a filly spreads with ease between the equine and human versions!
There are lots of reasons to love this book, but if I had to name one it would be strength of characterisation. Each character took centre stage in their own right, and each - whether a volatile teen or a man in the midst of a middle-age crisis - felt 100% real, tangible and most importantly easily connected with the reader.
There are a wide spectrum of emotions in this book, from laughter to tears and back again, all handled with total competence by the author, as is pacing, tension and the quiet moments needed for the reader to absorb the layers of content.
It's a pleasure to read a novel where the writing is so fluid, it doesn't get in the way of the story. And this is a story most definitely worth a read. Highly recommended and I can't wait to get onto book two in the series!
You’ll enjoy this if you like: Amanda Prowse, Jill Roman, David Nicholls
Avoid if you don’t like: Welsh landscapes and horses.
Ideal accompaniments: Hot chocolate and toasted tea-cakes by a roaring log fire.
Genre: Women’s Fiction.
Available from Amazon