Posts Tagged With: Linda Gillard

House of Silence by Linda Gillard

Linda has three previously published books, and many loyal fans, and yet her agent was unable to find a publisher who would take on House of Silence. She has finally decided to release it as an ebook, and it has been very well received. I very much enjoyed her previous books, so Linda kindly sent me a copy of this one to take a look at.

As previously mentioned, the book starts with the building relationship between Gwen and Alfie, both of whom have difficult backgrounds. Gwen’s family all died when she was young, including her mother, and it becomes obvious to us, if not to Gwen, that this has caused it’s own damage. Alfie also has difficulties with his family – but they are still around, full of complications, and expecting him to visit at Christmas, as he always does.

Alfie seems very reluctant to let Gwen join him, but eventually he agrees, and so as they travel, he tells her a little more about the various people she will meet. It’s only once they arrive however, that we really get to see these wonderful characters. Like Alfie and Gwen, these character are worth reading about because they’re flawed and real. And for me, this is the strength of Linda’s writing, giving us real, interesting characters.

I don’t mind saying that this isn’t my favourite of Linda’s books, as I do like it when she pushes just a little further. Emotional Geology and A Lifetime Burning are my favourites, the latter being a much more controversial book. However, House of Silence still has a lot to offer, and the second half of the book kept me gripped, reading the twists and turns to find out where it would take me.

Linda’s books don’t fit tidily into one genre, and if that’s holding the publishers back, they really should think again, because it means that Linda’s books reach a wide audience. There’s a family drama, a growing mystery, glimpses of dealing with mental health issues, plus a touch of romance. Be careful though, you’ll probably want to go and get the rest of Linda’s books!

By the way, it’s worth pointing out that although House of Silence is published for the Kindle, it’s not restricted to just that. It’s possible to get a Kindle app for many platforms, including pc.

Buy Kindle version at amazon, just £1.90

Visit Linda’s official site, and read more about her decision to e-publish on the BCF blog.

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Star Gazing by Linda Gillard

Blind since birth, widowed in her twenties, now lonely in her forties, Marianne Fraser lives in Edinburgh in elegant, angry anonymity with her sister, Louisa. Marianne’s passionate nature finds solace and expression in music, a love she finds she shares with Keir, a man she encounters on her doorstep one winter’s night.

Keir makes no concession to her condition. He is abrupt to the point of rudeness, yet oddly kind. But can Marianne trust her feelings for this reclusive stranger who wants to take a blind woman to his island home on Skye, to ‘show’ her the stars?
From official site

This is the third book of Linda’s, all read rather closely together. This isn’t a problem, however, as each book is very different. In Star Gazing, Linda brings us Marianne, a 45 year old woman who’s been blind since birth, and already a widow. She is fiercely independant, stubborn, and passionate, with a love of nature.

Already in her life is her warm-hearted sister, who has helped her since the death of her husband. The relationship between them is not always easy, as they often disagree.. but the love and support is obvious.

Into her life steps Keir, and once again Linda has written a strong hero. He’s not embarressed or thrown by her blindness, but rather tries to explain things to her, by comparing them to music. Whilst be extremely kind and caring, he also allows her to keep that independance.

The most fascinating part of the book for me was Marianne’s experience as a blind person, and the way that Linda brings this across. When Keir took her to Skye, I felt as if I could experience it all, but the way that Marianne did. It’s wonderfully written.

Linda has become one of my favourite authors, and I am constantly recommending her books to people. This one is a lovely, unique romantic tale, which also deals with issues such as bereavement and blindness.

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A Lifetime Burning by Linda Gillard

Greedy for experience but determined to be good, Flora Dunbar spends a lifetime seeking love, trying to build a future out of the wreckage of her past – an eccentric childhood spent in the shadow of her musical twin, Rory; early marriage to Hugh, a clergyman twice her age; motherhood, which brings her Theo, the son she cannot love; middle-age, when she finds brief happiness in a scandalous affair with her nephew, Colin.

“If you asked my sister-in-law why she hated me, she’d say it was because I seduced her precious firstborn then tossed him onto the sizeable scrap-heap marked Flora’s ex-lovers. But she’d be lying. That isn’t why Grace hated me. Ask my brother Rory…”

I’m not entirely sure where to start with this book, or how to do it justice. It tells the story of the above mentioned Flora, but also of everyone around her.. how their lives interact, in ways both expected, and unexpected.

This is a book that will grab your attention from the very first page, and each chapter leaves you wanting to know more. Although it keeps you turning the pages, there were times when I had to put it down, and take a deep breath, before picking it back and getting absorbed again. There are issues explored here that aren’t easy to read, but they are handled in a way that means you can take that deep breath and carry on.

The various characters in this book are very well written, each one provoking a variety of emotions. They really do come alive, and won’t be easily forgotten, and I’m sure that many readers will have varying reactions to them.. which I feel is part of the power of this book.

This is not a light read, but one brimming with emotion. It does move around in time, but doesn’t in any way confuse – the journey all comes together at the end.

Linda is a new author to me this year, and she has jumped right up there into my list of favourites. As for this book, I believe it’s easily my favourite book of the year so far, and has gone onto my re-read pile, which not many achieve!

Highly recommended!

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Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard

Rose Leonard is on the run from her life.

Taking refuge in a remote island community, she cocoons herself in work, silence and solitude in a house by the sea. But she is haunted by her past, by memories and desires she’d hoped were long dead. Rose must decide whether she has chosen a new life or just a different kind of death. Life and love are offered by new friends, her lonely daughter and most of all Calum, a fragile younger man who has his own demons to exorcise.

But does Rose, with her tenuous hold on life and sanity, have the courage to say yes to life and put her past behind her?
From Official Site

I loved this book from the very first page. It immediately pulls you in, as the story starts to unfold. Rose has bi-polar, and although I don’t know how accurate the portrayal it is, it seems very real, and gives a rather frightening insight.

Rose’s past is gradually revealed as the story develops, along with it’s affect on her present.. and the people around her. Her relationship with Calum is explored, as well as the one she has with the daughter.

The author calls it “an off-beat love story”, but it offers so much more. It remains a warm, positive story, whilst not shying away from the thoughts and emotions that are needed to make it come alive. It’s a book to lose yourself in, and I will be searching out more from this author.

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