Sunday, 14 June 2015

Book Review - The Dandelion Years by Erica James

Amazon UK
Title: The Dandelion Years
Author: Erica James
Format reviewed: Hardback
Source: Competition Win
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 18th June 2015
Rating: 4.5 Stars

'Someone had made a perfect job of creating a place in which to hide a notebook . . . there was no address, only a date: September 1943 . . .'

Ashcombe was the most beautiful house Saskia had ever seen as a little girl. A rambling cottage on the edge of a Suffolk village, it provided a perfect sanctuary to hide from the tragedy which shattered her childhood.

Now an adult, Saskia is still living at Ashcombe and as a book restorer devotes her days tending to broken and battered books, daydreaming about the people who had once turned their pages. When she discovers a hidden notebook - and realises someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to hide a story of their own - Saskia finds herself drawn into a heart-rending tale of wartime love.

When Saskia was a little girl, her mother and both grandma's were killed in a car accident. To help them through the grief, her father, Ralph and both Gradfather's Harvey and Oliver decided to live together, at Ashcombe in Suffolk. 

Twenty years on, Saskia is still living with the three main men in her life, and has trouble forming relationships with other people. She works as a book restorer, which allows her to work by herself, and she has a real love of  books. 

In amongst a stack of books she needed to value for Ralph's business she comes across a notebook hidden in a bible. The notebook is entitled The Dandelion Years, and tells of a World War Two love story. 

Saskia while reading the notebook, manages to meet someone that knew the person who had written it, and a tentative friendship grows between them both. 

I'm not  particularly a history fan, but yet I was drawn into and gripped by the story being told by this notebook, about love during the second World War. It features a part of the war that I really knew nothing about, what went on at Bletchley Park,  and is tender, emotional and charming. I was finding these sections were what I was reading the book for. 

The contemporary parts of the book, is also a lovely story, as Saskia's family decide they may have been holding her back over the years, and try to force some changes into life at Aschombe. Oliver and Harvey a fabulous pair of gentleman, who clearly care about each other, as well as Ralph and Saskia, but its the interactions between that both that were hilarious. 

The two main stories in this book, have similarities between them, so you can see the present in some respects mirroring the past (without the World War). The Dandelion Years is a fascinating and wonderful book, that is one of the best books that Erica James has written. 

The Dandelion Years is out now in Hardback and Ebook, and will be published on Thursday in paperback. 

1 comment:

  1. High praise indeed. A beautiful review for what sounds like a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing, Rachel. :) x


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