I thought that Sonia Velton’s previous novel, Blackberry and Wild Rose, was wonderful. I was really looking forward to her next book! It’s not an historical novel this time, but a contemporary domestic drama with a hint of thriller. The writing was excellent and the story was so compelling that I read it within 24 hours.
The book follows two narratives, that of Stella, who is writing to Connie (whose side of the story is told in the third person). You know that they are linked together in some way, but not how. The surprising and tragic details are gradually revealed. The novel has a strong emotional resonance and you’ll be thinking about it for long afterwards. I liked the setting too – English families living in Dubai, with Filipina housemaids. The way that the novel incorporates humanitarian themes and examines the nature of memory, while also creating believable characters and keeping the pace going, is so impressive.
Well done, Sonia – I look forward to whatever you write next!
Thank you to the publisher Quercus for the advance copy via NetGalley. The book will be published on 22nd July.