Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT REDEMPTION SONG by Laura Wilkinson @ScorpioScribble #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs at http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Alison has been reading Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson

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Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson

Saffron and her mother Rain have moved to North Wales to start again after a tragedy that has caused them heartbreak, guilt, and confusion. Joe is also running, trying to escape a past that haunts him while simultaneously bent on revenge.

The story is told from three different points of view – Saffron, Rain and Joe. In many novels, this can be confusing, but Laura Wilkinson is a skilful writer and the point of view changes are seamless, with each character having their own distinct voice. The different points of view give a fresh perspective on many of the issues facing the characters and the conflicts between them.

The author has a real ability to give a sense of time and place. Small town North Wales was authentically portrayed and the other characters – Saffy’s new friend Ceri and her father in particular- are a joy to read, honestly portrayed and entertaining. The oppression and depression of a Welsh winter, the drabness of a seaside town off-season are beautifully contrasted with descriptions of the beauty of the countryside in sunshine and snow.

This isn’t a fast-paced drama. The histories of the characters come out slowly, the reader discovering things along with Saffy, Rain and Joe. This works well for the most part, but was a little frustrating at times.

The characters are, for the most part, easy to sympathise with. Rain is lovely, kind and caring if a little OTT at times, but her love for her daughter is clear. Joe too, while mysterious, is genuine and honest, and you know that whatever has happened in the past, there must be a good reason for it! Saffy, however, left me feeling conflicted. She seems very selfish, and is quite horrible to her lovely mum. This would be more understandable if Saffy was a teenager, but she is in her twenties and is studying to be a doctor. The stroppy, selfish, tantrum-throwing side of her character doesn’t seem to fit and I wondered why it didn’t put Joe off.

I also feel that the back stories aren’t developed enough. I don’t want to give too much away but Joe’s issues are dealt with a little too neatly and conveniently for me. This aspect of the plot could have been given more depth and detail.

The writing is solid, however, and it’s a well-crafted and enjoyable read.

Four out of five stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT REDEMPTION SONG by Laura Wilkinson @ScorpioScribble

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at http://judithbarrowblog.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Judith has been reading The Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson

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I liked Redemption Song; as the blurb says it’s  captivating novel. Laura Wilkinson has an even,straightforward writing style that actually disguises the difficulty in keeping together what is a complex story. On the whole the plot runs smoothly, giving equal balance to the tension and the everyday lives of the characters.

The characters of the two protagonists, Saffron and Joe are well written and rounded; it’s easy to empathise with each of them and to follow their progress, both individually and in the way their relationship grows. I liked the descriptions of their appearance; they way they looked, the clothes worn, deftly and subtly inserted without a heavy handed ‘dumping’ of detail. The other characters that provide a background to the story:Rain, Saffron’s mother, Eifion and Ceri are also well defined and add a sub-plot that weaves deftly through the main plot.

The dialogue is realistic, although sometimes the internal dialogue felt too much like the spoken dialogue and less like a stream of consciousness. Saying that, I was able to tell who was speaking all the way through the book; the author gave each character an individual, distinctive voice.

The descriptions of the various settings: the church, the seaside town of Coed Mawr, the pier, are well written and convincing; I think it worth mentioning that  there are some beautiful descriptions of Coed Mawr.  I found it easy  to imagine the characters moving around in each scene

There are only two reasons I didn’t give Redemption Song five stars and the first is a personal one; I became irritated by the drawn out mystery of Joe’s background, the constant mention of his need for revenge and the flatness of the characters, Simon and Freddie. I realised they were friends from Joe’s school-days but they didn’t come alive for me in the way I thought they should have when I discovered their importance to the story.  The other reason was I wasn’t quite convinced by the character of Allegra but I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was because I felt she was portrayed as a one-sided character, maybe it was because, as a reader I learned something of her earlier in the book but wasn’t sure exactly why she was part of the story.

Anyway, this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story as a whole. I loved Laura Wilkinson’s s writing style and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.  I would definitely recommend Redemption Song

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT

Find copies here:

Amazon.co.uk:

http://amzn.to/1RoLONL

Amazon.com

http://amzn.to/1K2N1Ct

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT REDEMPTION SONG by Laura Wilkinson @ScorpioScribble #WeekendBlogHop

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson

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Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber’s review team

Redemption Song starts off on a lonely track in wintry North Wales when Saffron de Lacy’s car breaks down and the mysterious Joe comes to her aid. He learns she is a Baptist minister’s daughter; when he drives her home she invites him in, and he meets her mother, Rain.

The story tells of three people’s road back from emotional trauma, and alternates between the points of view of Saffron, Joe and Rain. This is done very well, with each character’s section revealing their hidden side without overdoing it, each ‘voice’ different enough to be convincing. A quick mention for the amusing surprise at the end of Chapter Three – like Joe, I didn’t see it coming at all!

Rain is very real, and likable, but I found it hard to connect with either Joe or Saffron at first, as Saffron is an twenty-five year old, qualified doctor who behaves like a stroppy teenager, and Joe is a slightly rough and ready carpenter with the vocabulary of one much more educated; however, it soon becomes clear that there are many secrets to come out, about all three main characters, and these explain the incongruities; it was the slow drip of information that kept me turning the pages. I found myself particularly fascinated by the truth about Joe, who I definitely started to fancy as the book went on!

The minor characters are more immediately appealing. I could see Saffron’s friend Ceri (the ‘Welsh Vicky Pollard’) straight away, and also her lovely father, and Saffron’s nit-picking boss at Wynne’s ‘department store’; I’ve lived in small town Norfolk, and Wynne’s sounded just like Cromer Indoor Market ~ very well drawn.

I chose this to review because I adored Laura Wilkinson’s debut, ‘Public Battles, Private Wars’, set during the 1980s miners’ strike.  It’s equally well written, but it’s a very different sort of book, a slow paced, gradual unfolding with lots of detail, rather than a down-to-earth, events orientated drama.  It’s about the journey rather than the destination….

A nicely structured drama for readers who enjoy curling up and getting to know their characters in an in-depth fashion.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com