Today’s team review is form Judith, she blogs at http://judithbarrowblog.com/
Judith has been reading A Suitable Young Man by Anne L Harvey
I gave A Suitable Young Man by Anne L Harvey 4 out of 5*
I really enjoyed A Suitable Young Man by Anne L Harvey; it’s my kind of book. It’s a story reflective of its times, well written and filled with good rounded characters.
Here’s the book blurb:
A nostalgic tale of friendship, family, love, loyalty and loss, set in a Lancashire mill town in the new Elizabethan era of the mid-1950s. One dark December night, Kathy Armstrong is rescued from two thugs by Nick Roberts, whom she’d known as a schoolgirl. But Nick is a Teddy boy, hell-bent on having a good time in the pubs and dance halls of the era. Shortly after, she meets accountant John Talbot at a party and is captivated by his middle-class charm. To the background of the new rock and roll, a mounting crisis over the Suez Canal, family and personal crises, Kathy struggles with a wayward attraction to Nick and her incubating love for John. But which one is ‘The Suitable Young Man?’
It is obvious the Anne L Harvey has researched the era scrupulously; the setting of each scene is evocative and brought alive by the compelling writing style of this author. The reader is taken into each diverse tableau: the towns, the interior of the houses, the dance halls, the work places.
And the characters fit right in. The descriptions of them bring them truly to life; they are well drawn, believable and rounded. There is a strong build-up of their backgrounds throughout which demonstrates their familial differences and adds to the reality of the times; of the‘still-held beliefs of class differences in the nineteen fifties.
The dialogue, both spoken and internal, are convincing and diverse; even without the attributes I could immediately tell who was speaking..
The two storylines of Nick and Kathy run both parallel and interwoven. I enjoyed following each throughout the novel.
I had only two problems with A Suitable Young Man: I thought it was a little predictable sometimes in its plotline (I can’t say any more about this because I don’t want to spoil it for future readers).
My other problem was actually about the excellent research carried out by the author. As I’ve said earlier, the research is meticulous and provides such a great sense of place. But in parts I felt there were too many facts crammed in what I would call, ‘authorial information dumps’, which took me out of the story. Don’t get me wrong, they are often brilliant additions to set the scenes but sometimes there were just too many details there for me. But that might be just the way I read.
But there is no doubt this is a good read, written with style and conviction. I look forward to reading more from this author and would thoroughly recommend A Suitable Young Man by Anne L Harvey.
This book was read by me as one of Rosie Amber’s Review Team and was given to me by the author through #RBRT in exchange for a fair review.
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Excellent review, Judith. I enjoyed this book, too, very nicely written. I wondered if, rather than research, it was written from the author’s memory of the time, because the detail of which you spoke was so very thorough; I can find such detail a little too much, too, but I notice on Amazon, these days, a trend towards books that are specifically orientated towards nostalgia, so perhaps that was the market this was aimed at, I don’t know!
You could be right Terry. I did get an email from Anne, after, saying someone else had said the same thing about the research so it was something she would think about. And thank you, I enjoyed the book – always easier to write a review when you’ve enjoyed the book, I think.
I have only just been introduced to this site. As writing is my passion I’m feeling like the kitten with a bowl full of cream all to itself.
I no longer have much time for reading reviewing these days so this blog is just perfect. I just need a coffee/wine as I meander through the words…
Many thanks, we have all sorts of posts to keep reader interested in books, lovely to have you aboard.
Thank you Rosie for the war welcome. I’m busy writing again at the moment but I can always make time for a good blog. I will share this blog but I’m wondering how to add it to my own blog as a sort of ‘side ad’ I’m not that tecky minded but I’ll work on it
That’s very kind, if you have a sign up by e-mail for your own blog, I shall return the favour.
Glad you found us!
Thanks Judith. Great review of a story that’s very appealing to me. You make very useful points for other readers. 🙂
Thank you Olga.
Thank you, Olga. It is a good read.
What a great review! This is now the third review I’ve seen of this book and I can’t wait to read it! 🙂
Thank you Mrs N.
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Think you’ll enjoy it, Mrs N.
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Like this specific likes and dislike around this book. It still sounds promising. Great review.
Thanks, Tess. I did enjoy the read.
You are always welcome. 😀
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An excellent review, Judith. Adding it to my TBR.