First of all, the language/style of writing: So very good! Proper, good, often elegant English, without ever being so high-brow as to be wearisome or hard to understand. Especially after my previous read, this book brought home the difference between someone who thinks they can write and someone who truly is a good writer.
If the stories were paintings, I would say the author managed to depict each character accurately with a few brush strokes. I could picture them all, even hear their voices - something that sometimes does not even happen to me for the main cast of a full-length novel.
Their actions, thoughts and background stories were credible and realistic. Even the mysterious bits were plausible - one could read "more" into those bits, if so inclined, but also simply find natural explanations for everything.
Had I to choose a favourite out of this collection of short stories (all set in or near the same village), I wouldn't know which one. They all "need" each other, I think, to give a complete picture, even though each story can very well stand alone.
Should the author ever decide to create a novel (or even a series of books) about the village, its inhabitants past and present, visitors and legends, I would make sure to get my own copy as soon as it became available.
Thank you, Rosy - reading "Sandlands" was 99 % pleasure, and 1 % disappointment, when each story ended far too soon for my liking!
You can find out more about Rosy and her books at www.rosythornton.com
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About three weeks ago, completely out of the blue, Rosy Thornton approached me by email, asking whether I'd be interested in reading and reviewing her latest book. I must admit I had not heard of her before, but the few times so far that I have been similarly contacted by authors have all resulted in rewarding reading experiences and an interesting correspondence with kind and generous people - the authors themselves - who have all then commented on my reviews.
The contents of my reviews are not influenced by how I came about a certain book, or whether I "know" the author or not. If I am not happy about a book or a specific aspect of it, I will say so.
Anyone who asks me to read and review their work will get my honest opinion - nothing more, nothing less.
I utterly respect anyone who has the inspiration (and the necessary stamina to follow it up!) to write a book. My literary endeavours stop at the end of each blog post.