Wednesday 28 June 2017

Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson #BlogTour @ScorpioScribble @AccentPress

It's what's inside that counts...
Art student and former model Diana has always been admired for her beauty, but what use are good looks when you want to shine for your talent? Insecure and desperate for inspiration, Diana needs a muse.
Facially disfigured four-year-old Cal lives a life largely hidden from the world. But he was born to be looked at and he needs love too. A chance encounter changes everything and Cal becomes Diana s muse. But as Diana s reputation develops and Cal grows up, their relationship implodes.
Both struggle to be accepted for what lies within.
Is it possible to find acceptance in a society where what's on the outside counts for so much?

Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson was published in paperback by Accent Press on 15 June 2017.  I'm really delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for this book, I've read a couple of this author's books in the past, and reviewed them here on Random Things: Public Battles, Private Wars (October 2014), and Redemption Song (February 2016).

Beauty is only skin deep. External attractiveness has no relation to goodness or essential quality. This maxim was first stated by Sir Thomas Overbury in his poem "A Wife" (1613): "All the carnall beauty of my wife is but skin-deep."

Most of us will agree that indeed, beauty is only skin deep, and that a person's character is more important than how they look. I also expect that whilst most of us believe that, many of us are guilty of judging a person by how they look, and expecting their character to reflect their body.

In Skin Deep, Laura Wilkinson explores this belief and has produced a powerful and hard-hitting story that will make the reader question themselves, and those around them.

Diana is beautiful. From early childhood, that beauty has been the one aspect of her life that has brought the most pain. Paraded around beauty competitions by her cold, bitter mother; slapped when she didn't win and hugged closely when she took the crown, her beauty has brought her nothing but pain. The novel opens in 1980s Hulme, Manchester as Diana moves into a squalid flat on a rough council estate, defying her parents, and determined to become an artist.

Despite her desire to leave her past behind, the question of beauty has consumed her and continues to do so when she meets Cal; just five years old, neglected by his addicted parents, hidden away from the rest of the world, and ugly. 'Ugly' is a harsh word to use about a small child, but Cal's face is disfigured by congenital defects and although there may be beauty inside him, it is his facial features that have shaped his life so far, just as Diana's beauty has shaped her.

Laura Wilkinson's writing is sharp and emotive and she spares nothing in her description of the neighbourhood, the people and the dark contrast between herself and Cal. Diana is a troubled, often badly flawed woman. She tells herself that she only has Cal's best interests at heart, but as the story progresses, the reader comes to realise that Diana is often selfish and deluded, and her fellow characters realise that too.

This author has a remarkable ability to convey the human emotions, passions and fears so incredibly well. Skin Deep is often troubling, sometimes uncomfortable, but completely and utterly compelling. The characterisation is incredible and engaging, and love them, or hate them, they really will get under your skin.

Captivating and beautifully written. Skin Deep is a story that will trouble the reader, yet delight at the same time.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Laura Wilkinson lives in Brighton with her musician/carpenter husband, ginger sons and a cat called Sheila.
She is the author of four novels: The Family Line, Public Battles, Private Wars, Redemption Song and Skin Deep.

For more information visit:
Follow her on Twitter @ScorpioScribble


  1. Congratulations! I would like to receive such a book review! The market is saturated with 'one level' stories that hardly scratch the surface and leave one wanting, so it's refreshing to read of an author who can really reveal her character's hidden layers. 'Skin Deep' sounds a fascinating book. Yet another for my 'to read' list...

  2. Thanks so much for having me over at your fabulous blog, Anne; for taking part in the tour and for such a thoughtful and generous review. It has made my day.
    Thanks also to you, Joy. I hope you enjoy Skin Deep when you get around to reading it!

  3. Wonderful review. I'm reading Skin Deep at the moment and only wish I could spend a whole day just reading it from start to finish. Very much enjoying it.