Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT SANDLANDS by @rosy_thornton #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Judith has been reading Sandlands by Rosy Thornton


My Review:

What can I say about this book! I loved it; devoured it in one sitting.

And the cover!  The image of the ethereal  barn owl; the staring,  seemingly unblinking, eye is, for me, a metaphor for the author’s depth of  study, of research and knowledge of her subject.

Sandlands encompasses sixteen short stories that are based around the Sussex landscape, traditions, the different seasons,human nature and nature itself

Rosy Thornton has an empathetic writing style. Her portrayal of all the diverse characters shows an instinctive knowledge of human emotions and reactions to various situations. Each anecdote is an excellent observation of people,  fascinating in so many different ways, and each is satisfyingly complete

 There are lots of entwining themes; of quiet humour, time shifts, mystery and ancient history, folklore, superstitions, life and death, nature and even sometimes, a subtle personification of nature  and animals (see below).

 The stories are told variously through first person and third person point of view; individual voices so different that it’s possible to envisage them… and certainly for the reader to empathise and react to every story in  many different emotional ways.

But what struck me most as I savoured these tales was the beautiful poetic prose, the rhythmic flow of the narrative, the extensive and unique use of words,the syntax and the way Rosy Thornton ‘strings’ those words together. Let me show you what I mean. This is just one example. I could have dipped into this book anywhere but this sequence is taken from The Witch Bottle

“A soft, plosive pop, inaudible beyond the confines of the bottle, released the first gauzy wisp of smoke and with it a smouldering, acrid odour, Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Then came the flame. Bluish and tentative at first, it began to lap along a ridge of fabric, but quickly grew bolder, darkening to purple and rich red, then leapt, hungry and orange, to lick inside the glass. Finally it found a crack, the way to the outside air and life-giving oxygen– where, invigorated, it bucked and swayed its wild banshee dance, until it met the threads of Persian wool.

Fire burn…!”

Wonderful stuff!!

 You just have to read these stories. I thoroughly recommend Sandlands.

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20 thoughts on “Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT SANDLANDS by @rosy_thornton #SundayBlogShare

  1. I totally understand why you like that excerpt, but it’s too ‘wordy’ for me! I can see that for a creative writing tutor it ticks all boxes. Beautifully picture evoking and witchy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can understand how you feel Terry; what you mean. It is subjective I suppose. It was the slow build up I loved, each word meaning so much. Sometimes, with this book it was like savouring small, delicious bites of taster food – I had to read and re-read passages. “witchy” is a great word for it. Cheers.


  2. Thanks, Judith. Great review. I think I’m between Terry and you on this one. Sometimes I can read a very poetic language and it clicks with me and at others, it makes me impatient. I lived in Sussex for a while, years back, and love owls, so I suspect I’d really enjoy it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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