Book Reviews

Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks

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List Price: £12.99

 

Paperback: 320 Pages.

Published: 28 June 2018 by Doubleday

ISBN: 0857525581

EAN: 9780857525581

On New Year's Eve, at the age of eighty-six, Virginia feels the time has finally come.

In 1939, Virginia is ten, an orphan arriving to meet her new adoptive parents, Clem and Lorna Wrathmell, at their mysterious house, Salt Winds. The house sits right on the edge of a vast marsh, a beautiful but dangerous place. It's the start of a new life for Virginia, but she quickly senses that all is not right between Clem and Lorna - in particular, the presence of their wealthy neighbour Max Deering, who takes an unhealthy interest in the family. When a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh, Clem ventures onto the deadly sands to rescue the airman. And that is when things really begin to go wrong...

Reviews

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Very Atmospheric

Set on the isolated saltmarshes during WWII, this is an atmospheric, gothic style mystery novel. Virginia is 10 when Clem & Lorna Wrathmell collect her from the orphanage. It doesn't take her long to feel the undercurrents between Clem and Lorna as well as those with Max Deering. Widower Max owns the manor and likes to feel that he owns other things besides. One New Year's Eve a German bomber comes down out on the marshes and Clem goes out to rescue the pilot. Life is never the same again for Virginia.

This is one of those books set in two time periods - the present day where we meet Virginia as an old lady still living at Salt Winds House on the saltmarshes. The other follows Virginia from her first trip from the orphanage to her new home. The author made good use of the dual time periods with each story unfolding and revealling things which are relevant to the other. Thankfully the author has given us good chunks of text in each thread before reverting to the other. Each chunk is clearly defined and there is no confusion.

The author makes good use of language in describing the atmosphere caused by both the people involved and the surrounding saltmarshes. I could clearly feel the underlying tension in the house as young Virginia starts to understand the complexities of adult relationships. There is much that is not explained in detail but hinted and alluded to so that each reader can come to their own conclusions.

This is not a book which is neatly tied up at the end. Not everything is explained and the reader is left with several things that require their own interpretations. Different readers could interpret things in very different ways.

I enjoyed this book very much.I would certainly look for other books by this author.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

 
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