Wednesday 20 February 2013

Review Celebration - Kathryn Brown

Kathryn Brown wrote a different, compelling romantic story with her contemporary 'Nightingale Woods'. This is my review of it. (I've made the link live on the title to both Amazon UK(the first time the title is mentioned) and also Amazon US (when the title is mentioned in the review itself).

'Nightingale Woods' is Kathryn Brown's novel about being the 'other woman'. Written throughout in the first person - a clever device, as we see events solely from the other woman's point of view and can more readily empathise with her - it is a realistic story showing the pains, highs and lows of being involved with a married man. The narrator, Rachel, has intense chemistry with Steve, an older man whom she is convinced is the love of her life. We follow her history, beginning in the 1990s and the start of her affair with him. This part of the novel is written in diary form, which gives it great movement and pace. The spirit of the decade is captured in the language, the music and the wine. Because the reader is inside Rachel's head we see her doubts and guilt, which makes her sympathetic. I found Steve less so, but his motivations were also always shown and the stakes involved were always clearly stated.

The second part of the novel shows their affair rekindled after a long interval. The time between is explained and Rachel's increased age and life experience are well drawn. This part, written in first person but not as a diary, shows Rachel embedded in her new life and, as a contrast, the committed love of her friends Claire and Melanie.

Throughout, the 'symbol' of Rachel's and Steve's love is the Nightingale Woods and these, too, are not left unscathed.

This was a different read, involving and very brave. Lindsay Townsend


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Thanks for the review. I've got this book on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading it. said...

What a fascinating plot idea. I commend you, Kathryn, for tackling it. Congratulations for the wonderful, thoughtful review.


Colleen Connally said...

Interesting. Not often you read a story from the other woman's point of view. Sounds like a great read!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for featuring Nightingale Woods, Lindsay. It means a great deal to me to see my book on this website.

Rachael (Tales from the Village) said...

I loved this book - as a fab of Kathryn's writing, I knew I'd like it, but having been on the receiving end I wasn't sure how I'd feel about reading about The Other Woman. It was a remarkably astute observation of an affair, and from having seen a friend go through the whole Other Woman thing, it really does reflect the agonies of 'will he call, won't he' and putting your life on hold for someone. I recommend it hugely!

Rose Anderson said...

Sounds fascinating. Best luck with it.


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Gilli Allan said...

Your book sounds fascinating. (It chimes with something I am thinking about writing next.)
It's easy to demonise 'the other woman' but as often as not she is in need of pity. As writers, we have to be able to empathise - which doesn't necessarily equate with approval of our characters' behaviour.

Unknown said...

A great review of what sounds a great read....I've downloaded it already in anticipation ;) x