Kel McGowan is Kelligrafie
Finished this one in double quick time. Gwen is a widow, who upon the death of her invalid husband, flies the nest-come-prison of the family home and moves to an isolated tower at Seal Island. This book is about her struggles to fit in with the locals, who are distrusting of newcomers, plus keep her two apparently adult daughters happy.
There are certain aspects of the book I enjoyed very much. I love the settings. I love the vivid descriptions of the settings. The use of colour is great. And the story started off great. Gwen at a crossroads and making an epic leap for freedom. Yes! Then it went a bit 'no'.
I'm quite indisposed towards the characters. Gwen is supposed to be turning from timid dormouse into a full-on Destinys Child independant woman. Yet lets her farm boy lover throw hissy fits every time he doesn't get his own way. And five seconds later they've both made up and are in bed together. Really? Dare I say they've only known each other two weeks at this point and both being middle-aged widowers, you'd think they'd take it a bit slower with their new relationship. It doesn't sound as if their sex lives with their previous partners were up to much, now they're suddenly at it like rabbits. Really? Also, farm boy gets up at 6am to milk his cows. I daresay real farmers can only DREAM of a 6am start. They would consider that a lie-in probably.
And again with the daughters. Both 'independant'. Right. One is an hysterical narcissus, spoilt from birth, about to give birth and incredibly selfish. As for her boyfriend, who oozes commitment-phobe. High flying socialite, model looks, charming, well off. Of course. But a total rat. Which is never obvious to any of the women in books like this. Even though they're highly intelligent, they can never spot a scoundrel even when he's under their nose.
The only really likeable character is Neil and he gets shoved to secondary status.
Now look. I appreciate when you're a middle aged housewife, the kids have left for uni and you're not in full employment and have rather a lot of spare time on your hands, books like this must add some sparkle into the humdrum. But they don't really do much for the realists among us.
I feel either you go the full hog and create a completely different world, or you try and be realistic. Don't write stories about supposedly normal people and then ruin it with a ferrari and modelling job and 'perfect' boyfriend. And a flatmate who's a beautician and makes you look 'flawless' and is a total dating expert. Real life isn't like that.
3/5. Great adjectives, shame about the protagonists. Next book is Count The Petals Of The Moon Daisy by Martin Kirby.
File under: Kelligrafie, book review, Neptune's Daughter, Beryl Kingston