Thursday 11 February 2016

Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson *** BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY ***

Saffron is studying for a promising career in medicine until a horrific accident changes her life for ever. Needing to escape London, she moves to a small coastal town to live with her mother. Saffron hates the small town existence and feels trapped until she meets Joe, another outsider.
Despite initial misgivings, they grow closer to each other as they realise they have a lot in common. Like Saffron, Joe has a complicated past ....  one that's creeping up on his present.
Can Joe escape his demons for long enough to live a normal life - and can Saffron reveal the truth about what really happened on that fateful night?  Love is the one thing they need most, but will they - can they - risk it? 

Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson was published by Accent Press on 28 January, I'm really pleased to welcome you to my spot on the Blog Tour today.  I have a copy of Redemption Song to give away as part of the tour.  Entry is open to UK readers only, and is really simple, just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post.

Back in October 2014 I read and reviewed Laura Wilkinson's last novel, Public Battles, Private Wars  I enjoyed it very much, set in South Yorkshire during the miner's strike of the early 1980s, I remember a gritty novel full of warm, witty, no-nonsense Northern characters. Redemption Song is a step in a different direction for Laura Wilkinson, set in Wales with a complicated love story at its heart. It's not what I expected at all, but I have enjoyed it very much.

Saffron is a twenty-five year old woman who has lost her way. She was involved in a car accident that changed her life and that of her closest family. Saffron abandoned her studies in medicine and retreated from London to the quiet town of Coed Mawr in Wales, to stay with her mother Rain. Saffron couldn't cope in London, but she hates this small town almost as much. Her mother is the local minister, the manse that is their home is constantly busy, everyone knows her business.

Although Saffron has suffered a massive loss, she doesn't appear to be heartbroken, she comes across as cross and angry and moody. Rain tries her best; coaxing her with delicate foods, involving her in the busy Church activities, but their relationship is strained. Rain herself, recently widowed, still young, in her forties, is also something of an enigma. Privately she seems annoyed with everyone; with herself, with Saffron and especially with Joe - mysterious Joe, the carpenter who lives alone in a sparsely furnished cottage and has no history, and appears to be falling for Saffron.

Laura Wilkinson's characters are all a little bit broken. Rain and Saffron tiptoe around each other, never speaking about their losses, just getting angrier and angrier. Joe holds a lot back, nobody knows his address, or his mobile number, yet he receives calls from a guy called Simon who seems to know everything about him.

Slowly and surely, the secrets are revealed. The reader starts to understand Saffron, but Joe remains a mystery until almost the final page of the book. At times I wanted to shake all of them, to shout at them and tell them to sort themselves out and just talk to each other, but this author is very clever, and I suspect that is what she intended. As well as the three main players in Redemption Song, we are introduced to an cast of eclectic characters who will warm the heart of the reader. There's Ceri; badly dressed, coarse, likes a pint, but as loyal as the most faithful Spaniel dog, she lives with her father Eifion who I was more than a little in love with, and there's Mair, and the labourers from the building site and the lady who owns the tea room, all of them combine to make a really heart warming story.

With themes of loss and betrayal, and resentment and hidden bitterness that develop into trust and love and loyalty, Redemption Song is an engaging, character led story.

#Giveaway ~ A copy of Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson

Laura Wilkinson grew up in a Welsh market town and now lives in Brighton with her husband and two boys.
As well as writing fiction, she works as a mentor and editor for The Writing Coach and literary consultancy, Cornerstones.

For more information about Laura and her work, visit her website
Check out her author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @ScorpioScribble

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having me over, Anne, and for the thoughtful review. So pleased you enjoyed it. Wasn't sure if you would given how different it is to Public Battles, Private Wars... so Phew. x