You may remember that last year I reviewed 'A Tapestry of Love' by Rosy Thornton see - here - for that review. This year Rosy has kindly sent me a copy of her new novel 'Ninepins' and I mentioned recently on this - post - that I would write a review when I had read it. I actually finished it before we went away but have only just got around to writing a review.
'Ninepins' by Rosy Thornton, p/bk, published by Sandstone Press, ISBN978-1-905207-85-5
'Ninepins' is very different to 'A Tapestry of Love' and any other of Rosy Thornton's books I have read. Set in the stark beauty of the Cambridgeshire Fens, the story revolves around Laura and her daughter Beth who live in an old toll-house cottage called 'Ninepins' which has a fen drainage engine in the garden in which Laura usually takes student lodgers. At the beginning of the book she has been approached by the social worker of a young girl called Willow who is looking for accommodation after spending several years in and out of care. Laura accepts Willow as a lodger and this is when the tensions in the book begin. Is Willow just troubled or could she cause problems for or be a danger to Laura and Beth? I loved all the relationships in the story especially that between Laura and her asthmatic teenage daughter Beth, her gradual understanding and acceptance of Willow and her growing friendship with the likeable social worker Vince as well as her involvement with Beth's father and his new family. Most of all I loved the author's vivid descriptions of the fens. The frozen winter fens, the overflowing dykes and waterways and as springtime approaches and winter departs a glorious description of the swallows returning to the lode in springtime. Perhaps because I've lived in the fens I could imagine more acutely her descriptions of the cold, flat, often wet and sometimes forbidding countryside with its wide, beautiful skies. I really enjoyed reading 'Ninepins' and found that I couldn't put the book down and didn't want it to end. There is a link in my sidebar to Rosy Thornton's website where you will find details of all her books.