I got completely caught up in this story. It was engaging on so many levels, I devoured it slowly, as you might a chocolate sundae on a summer afternoon... you want to read it quickly so it won't melt, but you want to savor every bite because it's so delicious.
I don't usually do this in my reviews, because after all, it's all written on the back of the book. But here's a quick synopsis...
A reclusive author, nearing the end of her life, calls a writer, who's father owns a bookshop, to write her last tale, her memoir. Many others have tried to get this story out of the reclusive author, but she only speaks to our young heroine.
Okay, there's a lot more to it, but basically, it is a story about an author writing a story, her last story, with the help of another writer, who spent her childhood in a bookshop. In the process, the young writer learns that she, too, has a story, and discovers its weight in her life. It's perfect summitry, if you ask me!
I loved this book for it's multi-layered approach to storytelling. I loved it for its many subplots, told over three generations. I love it for its mystery and gentle tension. I love this book for the diversity in the collection of souls captured between it's pages. I love this book because even when I got to the end, the final "wrapping up" surprised me just as much as the middle climax (of which there seemed to be several - one for each subplot).
This is the first of Diane Setterfield's work I've read, and it's wonderful. I especially appreciated the interview she did at the back of the book, and the book discussion questions, perfectly curated for a book club! If you get the time, this would be a good book to wade into as you would a gentle lake... slowly and carefully, so you don't miss the tiny guppy details swimming around your feet.
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