Thursday 27 February 2020

Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin @carollovekin BLOG TOUR @honno #RandomThingsTours #WildSpinningGirls #BookReview

Ida Llewellyn loses her job and her parents in the space of a few weeks and, thrown completely off course, she sets off to Wales to the house her father has left her. But Heather, the young woman still in her teens whose home it was, keeps the house as a shrine to her late mother and is determined to scare Ida away. The two girls battle with suspicion and fear before discovering that the secrets harboured by their thoughtless parents have grown rotten with time, and that any ghosts Ty'r Cwmwl harbours are of their own making. Their broken hearts will only mend once they cast off the house and its history, and let go of the keepsakes that they treasure like childhood dreams.

Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin was published in paperback on 20 February 2020 by Honno, Welsh Women's Press. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour

Those people who know me well will confirm that I am rarely lost for words! I can usually spin a tale, especially when I'm pushing a book upon my audience.  I'm really struggling to write about The Wild Spinning Girls. It is so beautifully written, with such soul and emotion that I feel such a fraud to even attempt to describe it.

Not only is the book filled with beautiful words, it is also packaged most wonderfully. The cover is stark, yet stunning and fits the story perfectly. This really is the complete package.

This is a story of women, and of losses and relationships, of community and long held secrets.
Ida Llewellyn is 'a bit Welsh'; her father is Welsh, but she hasn't lived there for many years. The year now is 2017 and Ida has a job that she loves; working in a bookshop.
Her original dream was to be a ballet dancer, just like her mother. However, the reader has already discovered, during the Prelude, that Ida had a careless accident some years ago that put paid to her ambition. She knows that her mother has always been bitterly disappointed by this, and Ida herself feels responsible for her own laziness that led to the accident.

Ida loses her job in the bookshop and is bereft, just a few weeks later her beloved parents are killed in accident and she is devastated. Her life has changed forever.
When she discovers that her father owned a house in Wales, she decides she must visit, with a view to selling.

Ty'r Cwmwl (or, Cloud House as Ida calls it) becomes a character within its own right. The author's skill in creating such an atmospheric, almost living and breathing place is outstanding. The house is eerie, and dark and cold and just reading about it sent shivers down my spine.
It is here in Ty'r Cwmwl that the story really begins. Ida expects an empty, down at heel property, and whilst it is indeed, not lived in, it is certainly inhabited. 
Heather; the daughter of the last tenant considers the house to be hers. She has a key and treats the place as something of a shrine to her late mother. She's abrasive and curt and the contrast between these two women; both grieving the recent loss of their beloved parent is so very well done.

What follows is a tightly woven story that absolutely consumed me, it is magical, both in content and in its creation. We follow the shaky and tumultuous relationship between Ida and Heather and learn so much more about their families and their lives.

Secrets and unexpected surprises are carefully unwrapped by the author, creating a dark and deep tension throughout. 

I think, at its heart, this is a story about heritage, about women, about relationships and about connections. Interwoven with magic, and dark birds and the creaking interior of a house that was the keeper of the secrets.

Creepy, atmospheric, absorbing and utterly magnificent. Recommended by me.

Carol Lovekin is the author of three novels published by Honno, the Welsh Women's Press. 
She writes about mother/daughter relationships, family dynamics & her stories are rooted in the Welsh landscape. 
They touch on the Welsh Gothic & its most powerful motif: the ghost. 
Her first novel, GHOSTBIRD (2016) was a Waterstones Wales and Welsh Independent Bookshops Book of the Month; a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2016 & in the same year was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize.
SNOW SISTERS (2017) her second novel was chosen by the Welsh Books Council as their October Book of the Month (for independent shops.)
Her third novel, WILD SPINNING GIRLS was published on the 20th of February 2020.

Twitter @carollovekin
Author Page on Facebook
Instagram @carollovekin

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