Monday 19 October 2020

The Nesting by CJ Cooke BLOG TOUR @CJessCooke #TheNesting @fictionpubteam @HarperFiction @RandomTTours


Deep in a remote Norwegian forest, Lexi has found a new home with architect Tom and his two young daughters. With snow underfoot and the sound of the nearby fjord in her ears, it’s as if Lexi has stepped into a fairy tale

But this family has a history – and this place has a past. Something was destroyed to build their beautiful new house. And those ancient, whispering woods have a long memory.

Lexi begins to hear things, see things that don’t make sense. She used to think this place heavenly, but in the dark, dark woods, a menacing presence lurks.

With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.

But protect them from what?

The Nesting by CJ Cooke was published by Harper Collins in hardback on 15 October 2020. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

As soon as I read the blurb of The Nesting, and then saw that wonderfully brilliant and quite beautiful cover, I just knew that I had to read it. I have a passion for Norway, and stories set there and my much anticipated 'bucket list' holiday to Norway this year had been cancelled, so reading a story set there would be a little comfort to me! 

The haunting and quite gripping prologue is just a couple of pages long, but pulls the reader in completely as the reader is then thrust into the here and the now, where we meet lead character Lexi.

Lexi is a troubled young woman who recently tried to take her own life. Her long-term relationship has ended and she's now homeless and unemployed. With no strong family relationships to support her, she's drifting. As Lexi sits on a train, with no real destination in sight, she overhears a conversation between two women. This conversation will change her life course. 

Within days Lexi has secured herself a job as a nanny to two young children whose mother has recently died, and she will be working in Norway, at the holiday house that the children's father is determined to finish building in memory of his dead wife. It just so happens that Lexi is writing a novel and that book is set in Norway.  However, Lexi is not travelling under her own name; she's taken on the identity of one of the women she listened to on the train. From here on, she's Sophie; qualified nanny with experience. Surely looking after a couple of children in a luxury location will be a piece of cake?  Or will it?

CJ Cooke has written a story that is atmospheric and tense. There is no doubt that the star of the story is the location which is described so very well, adding a spine-tingling chill to what is a twisted and at times, very dark domestic noir thriller interwoven with folklore tales that made me shudder in horror at times.

Not only does Lexi have to ensure that her real identity is not discovered, she also has to deal with an increasing sense of unease about the family she is working for. Tom, the father of the family has a personality that splits into two; at times laid back and kind, but often stern and with a temper that is explosive and unexpected. Housekeeper Maren is another mysterious character; previously an artist, she worked for the family for many years, but has dark secrets of her own that she finds difficult to keep hidden. 

The Nesting is a fairly long book at just over 400 pages in the hardback copy, but it engages from page one and never lets up. I was totally enthralled by the plot, the characters and of course by the wonderfully created sense of place that this talented author has created. 

Vivid, original and haunting, The Nesting comes highly recommended by me.

C J Cooke (Carolyn Jess-Cooke) lives in Glasgow with her husband and four children. 
C J Cooke's works have been published in 23 languages and have won many awards. 
She holds a PhD in Literature from the Queen's University of Belfast and is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health.
Two of her books are currently optioned for film.


Twitter @CJessCooke

Instagram @cjcooke_author

Author Page on Facebook

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