A Long Shadow by Caroline Kington #BlogTour + giveaway
A Long Shadow by Caroline Kington is an emotionally intense, moving story of love, obsession, secrets and lies.
The narrative moves backwards and forward in time, telling stories of different characters.
1943: Susan, an unmarried pregnant girl is escaping the mother and baby hostel, afraid of losing her baby to adoption. She's determined to find her distant relatives in Bristol and keep her baby. While on the run, she meets a farmer who takes her to his remote farm, and her fate is sealed.
2001: Kate Maddicot is grieving the death of her husband and father of their two children. It was a terrible accident, but there is also a doubt in many people's minds. The Watersmeet farm has been struggling before Dan's death, the life insurance clears the debts and even leaves Kate and the family with some capital.What conclusions are there to draw? Was it really an accident, or a suicide?
"In the private opinion of everyone but those who knew him best, the news of the farm debt and of the life insurance settled the question"..
Kate refuses to believe the gossip and is set on finding out what's really happened.
The story goes back in time to 1990, to the beginning of Kate and Dan's relationship. We also have glimpses of Dan's childhood, and his relationship with two cousins - Mary and Max.
Dan is a likable protagonist, a young farmer who dedicates his life to the Watersmeet farm. His struggles to keep his farm afloat are convincing and engrossing.
This gripping novel perfectly captures the sights and smells of the rural life.
His grandmother Rose was a prolific diarist, who kept a journal every year until her death. She left a will, asking her grandson to read specific journals. Only Dan never had a chance to read them.
It would be up to Kate to discover the skeletons in the cupboard.
Susan's story is told in parallel. Her tragic life and secrets will have major repercussions on the present day's events at the farm.
Caroline Kington as a writer is an engaging, compassionate narrator. She has a great empathy for her characters, even the most difficult and unsavoury ones, creating a backstory which explains some of the characters' flaws and maliciousness.
There is also a whole lot of supporting parts, who are portrayed using the full palette - the dark and the light - from the ghastly Leaches to warm and caring Polly (Dan's mother).
Kate's family could easily be a basis for many AIBUs on Mumsnet. Her sister Emily is a spoilt brattish princess, over-indulged by her doting parents. She cannot tolerate not being the centre of attention and would do anything in her power to overshadow her sister.
The book is very sad and distressing at times, but also tender and lyrical.
This review is part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Caroline Kington and Rachel's Random Resources for my copy of the book.
You can order this book on amazon (see the link above),
or from the Lightning Books website at 50% (with free UK p&p) if you enter the code BLOGTOURSHAD
(that's not an affiliate link
You are also welcome to try to win one of 5 copies of A Long Shadow.
The giveaway is open to the UK residents only.
It might be run on several blogs, i.e. it's not exclusive to Chez Maximka blog, and I have no responsibility for the selection of the winner or dispatch and delivery of the prize.
Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.
The winner will be selected via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter, and/or email.
If no response is received within 7 days, then Rachel's Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner.
Open to all entrants aged 18 years or over.
Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners' information.
This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel's Random Resources will delete the data.
a Rafflecopter giveaway