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Valentina

Author: S E Lynes
Published: 1 July 2016
Reviewed: 14 June 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Blackbird Digital Books in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars

 

Description:   

My Thoughts & Review

When I first heard about this book I was intrigued, it sounded fascinating so I jumped at the chance of a review copy from Blackbird Digital Books.

Set in Aberdeenshire, Shona is a new mum settling into a rural setting with her little girl, and trying to adjust to a new way of life while her partner works offshore.  She finds she is missing her old life and friends, she craves human interaction beyond the niceties of the woman on the till in the supermarket so when she meets Valentina on the steps of the nursery a much needed friendship soon blossoms.  
Initially narrated through Shona, we learn about her life up to meeting her perfect match Mikey, how they first met, the way their relationship developed and how she came to live in her idyllic cottage in Aberdeenshire.  It is also through Shona that we “see” Valentina, how charismatic, carefree and confident she is, her style is hippy yet chic, she’s daring, she’s funny and most of all she’s just what Shona needed.  
As Shona reflects back on life before her child we see that she was a strong character, standing up to bullies and taking no nonsense.  So the dramatic change to her character is startling but understandable.  As a new mother she is exhausted, but with this comes the ability for her to be easily manipulated.  At times this character does come across as naive, too trusting and you really want to nudge her, shake her, anything to make her stop, notice and see sense. 
The overall style of writing is good, impressively descriptive, well paced and the plot was well thought out.  The narration by two of the main characters lends itself well to this story, it allows the reader to not only see Shona’s point of view, but also to some extent, experience it too.  
Character development in this book is very well done, interesting and well formed characters become even more intriguing, they mould into new shapes and the transformation of Shona in particular was fascinating to read.  
This is the sort of story that stays with you after you’ve finished the last page.  Even after a few days I found myself wondering what I would have done in that situation?  Would I have done the same thing?  Why would someone do that?  How could someone really do that and think they would never be found out?  Once you’ve read it you will understand…..
For a début, this is an impressive novel, well written and full of suspense, it’s gripping at the right time, the pace stays well matched to the action throughout, and it’s a good read.  Perhaps I’ve read too many of this genre, but I did find it was a little predictable, but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment.  

I would have no hesitation in recommending this book it’s a good read.   

You can buy a copy of Valentina here. 
 
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