Friday 10 July 2020

Under A Starry Sky by Laura Kemp @Laurajanekemp BLOG TOUR @orionbooks @AlainnaGeorgiou #UnderAStarrySky

Wanda Williams has always dreamed of leaving her wellies behind her and travelling the world! Yet every time she comes close to following her heart, life always seems to get in the way.

So, when her mother ends up in hospital and her sister finds out she's pregnant with twins, Wanda knows that only she can save the crumbling campsite at the family farm.

Together with her friends in the village, she sets about sprucing up the site, mowing the fields, replanting the allotment and baking homemade goodies for the campers.

But when a long-lost face from her past turns up, Wanda's world is turned upside-down. And under a starry sky, anything can happen...

Under A Starry Sky by Laura Kemp is published by Orion on 9 July 2020. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to be part of this blog tour

Under A Starry Sky is Laura Kemp's third novel. She is a regular here on Random Things now, I read and reviewed both of her previous books; The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness and Bring Me Sunshine and absolutely loved both of them.

I was so looking forward to Under A Starry Sky and I have not been disappointed in the least. I sat down to begin to read it and didn't look up for over 80 pages. Once more, this extremely gifted author has created a story that readers can lose themselves in. Full of the most colourful and amazing characters who I instantly took to my heart. This is the ultimate in comfort reading; it's funny, it's sad, sometimes it's serious and touches upon some darker issues, but it is always, always heartfelt and uplifting. I felt a little bereft as I turned the final page, I really didn't want this one to end. 

Wanda Williams has always dreamt of travelling. She has a whole route planned, taking in far flung, exotic destinations and experiencing as much as she can whilst she is away. Wanda doesn't want the average sun-lounger holiday, she wants to learn and see and do.

Sadly, her dreams were dashed by a tragic event that affected not just Wanda but the whole community in the small Welsh town of Gobaith. Instead of travel, Wanda has had to make do with arranging exotic holidays for other people as she worked in the Get Lost travel agent. However, years have passed and at last Wanda can go away. Her flat has been rented out and her itinerary is complete, she is on her way.

Nothing ever goes quite right for Wanda though and more family problems mean that once again, her plans are scuppered and she must stay in town. Her mother has fallen and injured her hip and her sister is expecting twins, with no sign of the father on the horizon. It's up to Wanda to rescue the down-at-heel family campsite and make it financially viable. Added to that, she has to deal with faces from the past; Lew, her first love and Annie, her one time best friend. Both have been away, and both are back and there is a lot of lost ground to make up.

Once more, this wonderful author has sold Wales to me and once more I make plans in my head to visit. There is something so special about this story that I find difficult to put into words, I felt a real connection to the characters, I felt their joy and their pain. Their frustrations and difficulties became mine, I was totally absorbed and moved by the spectacular story telling. 

Laura Kemp's characterisation is utterly fabulous. This story is populated by a cast of unique and fascinating characters, on the whole, they are funny and wise and loving, but in the mix there's one or two dubious ones which add such depth to the story. Arthur, the teenage boy, uprooted from London after the death of his mother, and Teg the dog; loyal and loving and a splendid addition to the story.

At its heart, this is a story of community and friendship and love.  The author writes sensitively about darker issues and explores themes of regret and forgiveness. I loved every single word.

Laura Kemp deserves to be up there with the greatest writers of contemporary fiction, she can join Jill Mansell and Veronica Henry with ease.  This is a tenderly written novel, filled with warmth and laughter and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Laura Kemp writes tender but hilarious romantic comedies.

A former journalist, she lives near Cardiff and is ably assisted by her secretary, Ollie the family dog, who, to be honest, isn't the brightest. But we love him anyway.

Follow all her book news at or on Twitter @Laurajanekemp

No comments:

Post a Comment