This was a really slow book for me to start with. It took until about 20% of the way through before I began to feel immersed in the storyline and attached to the characters. However once I got there… I flew through the rest of the book wanting to uncover the secrets along with Iona.
This is a book that manages to capture both the chill and the beauty of Orkney & Scotland in general. The characters are written gently and warmly. As you read this you’ll find yourself transported to Iona’s Godmother’s kitchen for warm soup – I can’t fully describe how this book is written but it’s crafted out of words and imagery and that makes it a wonderful read.
Alison writes about a difficult topic and moments in this book will have you catching your breath. But at the same time it’s such a gentle book – written in a really calming and careful way – that it takes the edge off of the shocking undertones. I remember watching Alison talk in an online event about her book, and she writes exactly how she is in ‘person.’
About the book…
From the bestselling author of The Art of Remembering comes a tale about secrets that tear a family apart, of loss, and courage, and the strength of a gifted young woman to face the past, heal and move forward.
On her 21st birthday, gifted cellist Iona Muir receives a package from her estranged father containing a letter from her mother, Grace, a talented musician who tragically died ten years earlier. Reeling from what she reads, Iona soon discovers a mysterious, faded photograph of Grace, hidden inside her cello case.
Honoring her mother’s request, Iona visits Grace’s beloved music teacher, taking the first step on an emotional trail of discovery that has been left for her. As Grace’s story unfolds, Iona gains a deeper insight into the mother she lost and the heartbreaking truth about Grace’s last months. The more Iona learns, the more she is drawn back to her family home, on the remote Scottish island of Orkney, and to her father.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication: July 2020
About the author…
A former marketing executive, originally from Edinburgh, Alison now lives near Washington D.C. with her husband and dog. She was educated in England and holds an MBA from Leicester University.
TUESDAY’S SOCKS, THE FATHER-DAUGHTER CLUB, and FINDING HEATHER are all Amazon best sellers. The Father-Daughter Club was also awarded the IPPY 2016 Bronze Medal for Best Regional Fiction – Europe.
A LIFE UNEXPECTED, won a 2018 IPPY Bronze Medal in the Popular Fiction category and is also an Amazon best seller.
THE ART OF REMEMBERING, released on July 16th, 2019 debuted as an Amazon best seller in the British Literature, British Contemporary literature and Contemporary Women’s Fiction categories.It went on to become #1 Best seller in British contemporary literature in both Canada and Australia. It was honored as a finalist in the 2019 American Fiction Awards, literary category, was short listed for the CIBA Somerset Award, and was a finalist in the 2020 Eric Hoffer Award. It was also a BookBub Best Book Club Book Pick selection in July, 2019.
THE LIAR AND OTHER STORIES, Alison’s first short story collection was released on May 12th, 2020.
DIGNITY AND GRACE, Alison’s seventh book, was released on July, 27th, 2020.