The Elephant Girl is Henriette Gyland's second novel and was published by Choc Lit on 7 July. I read and enjoyed her first novel, Up Close back in November of last year and you can read my review of Up Close by Henriette Gyland here.
Helen has spent the past few years in India. Her mother was murdered when Helen was just five years old and she spent her childhood in foster care, despite the fact that she was part of a wealthy and important family. Helen has epilepsy and nobody really wanted her, she has spent her life hating the woman that she believes killed her mother, and hating her illness. It makes her feel vulnerable, and different. She really just wants to be ordinary.
When, out of the blue, Helen hears from her step-grandmother. Her mother's murderer has been released from jail. It's time for Helen to return to England.
Jason has also spent his life wanting to be different. His father is rich and powerful, and something of a crook. Jason doesn't want to be like his father, he's determined to do good with his life. Jason runs a half-way house, for ex-offenders. When Helen finds herself on his doorstep, their lives become entwined, but little do they know that both of their families have big secrets and are linked together in ways that they would never have imagined.
There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged with this story from the first page. The characters are bold, well-developed and very realistic. The story is complex enough to keep the reader guessing but not too complicated to distract from the enjoyment of the story.
Henriette Gyland excels at combining mystery with romance and The Elephant Girl will not disappoint fans of her first novel.
My thanks to Choc Lit for sending my copy of The Elephant Girl for review (and for the chocolate too!).
Henriette Gyland grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express.
Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist.
Expecting her first child and feeling bored, she picked up the pen again, and when a writer friend encouraged her to join the Romantic Novelist's Association, she began to pursue her writing in earnest. Her debut novel Up Close, won the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize.
Henriette is married and lives in London.
The Elephant Girl is Henriette's second novel. Her next release, The Highwayman's Daughter will be published in January 2014.
Follow Henriette: Twitter ~ @henrigyland Facebook ~ www.facebook.com/henriette.gyland
Website ~ www.henriettegyland.wordpress.com