Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Dandelion Years by Erica James

Ashcombe was the most beautiful house Saskia had ever seen as a little girl. A rambling pink cottage on the edge of the Suffolk village of Melbury Green, its enchanting garden provided a fairy-tale playground of seclusion, 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 the broken, battered books that find their way to her, daydreaming about the people who had once turned their pages. When she discovers a notebook carefully concealed in an old Bible - and realising 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...

I am ashamed to say I have never read a book by Erica James and I have just finished reading The Dandelion Years and if her other books are as breath-taking as this one then I really have been missing out and have a lot of catching up to do.

Saskia Granger lives with her father Ralph and her two Grandfathers Harvey and Oliver, an unusual set up but one which has worked perfectly well for the foursome but with Saskia now in her 30’s they gentleman are keen for her to fly the nest and have an adventure but they are worried they are holding her back. An exciting discovery of a hidden notebook looks set to give Saskia a new adventure as she reads about a war time romance and the need to find out how the notebook has made its way into her hands as surely no-one would knowingly have thrown it away.

I need to apologise now as I do not feel my review will give this book the justice it deserves. The author has delivered such a beautifully crafted book that really had me captivated the whole way through. From the storyline to the charming characters and the beautiful writing style this was just a remarkable read.

This is a dual time read which I don’t usually favour as I always find myself drawn to one or the other sides but the balance in both the present day and the war time was perfect in this book and I found myself equally intrigued by Jacob and Kitty’s story as well as enjoying the more modern feel to Saskia and Matthews lives too. I adored all of the characters in this book they were all a little quirky and some a little introverted and I loved the unusual family set up of the Granger family I found this really touching.

I was as gripped as Saskia when reading Jacobs notebook and just as she wanted to know more so did I. I also really enjoyed the love of books that shines through in this book, Saskia is a book restorer and her father Ralph has a book shop and he buys and sells old books so this was something else that really caught my attention.

I did have an idea of how the book would end but it really didn’t matter because it was such a beautiful journey to get to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I have definitely found a fantastic new author and I can not wait to read another of her books although they will have a lot to match up to with this book.

Hardback                       Kindle

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