With the same atmosphere and imagination of THE BOOK OF HIDDEN WONDERS, Polly Crosby’s new novel, THE WOMEN OF PEARL ISLAND is set on a lush, secluded island where family secrets bring together an unlikely friendship.
On a secluded island off the British coast, an elderly woman named Marianne collects butterflies and memories from her past. No longer able to catch butterflies herself, she enlists the help of a young woman named Tartelin who has peculiar birthmark on her cheek. Tartelin’s mother has recently passed, leaving her unmoored and eager for new beginnings on the island.
Marianne has spent most of her life on the island, her family having owned it for generations. She begins to tell her young assistant her family’s story – from the prosperous days when they harvested pearls and held banquets, to the harder times and her father’s desperatemoney-making schemes. But during WWII, the British government commandeered the island for nuclear testing and they were all forced to leave. Though, secret to everyone, Marianne stayed behind and experienced something she calls “the blast,” an event that changed everything for her. Now, the older woman is obsessed with tracking the changes in butterflies and other creatures on the island to prove what she witnessed so many decades before.
With a mystery spanning decades, this is an emotional and atmospheric story of a young woman coming into her own as she forges an unlikely friendship with her employer, both women grieving their pasts and together, embracing a new future.
Marianne has finally returned to her beloved Pearl Island after years of being away. Her family had been forced off the island during WWII due to nuclear testing. Marianne is determined to find out about her obsession, her butterflies. How have they survived and changed?
Marianne hires a young girl, Tartelin, to help her. Marianne is very old and cannot explore the island like she wishes. So, Tartelin will be her eyes and ears. Needless to say, both of these ladies are hiding a lot in their past and as they get to know each other, these secrets come out!
There is such beauty in this story. I felt like I was right there on the island experiencing everything Tartelin experienced. It is so well written and extraordinary! I fell completely in love with this island and the unique characters. The only issue I have is there is almost no plot. Well, maybe I should say, it is slow moving. There is a bit of mystery surrounding Marianne and Tartelin. It is just a minor part of the story. But, there is just something about the way this novel is written, the plot really didn’t matter much. The island, Marianne and Tartelin is all that is needed.
Need a beautiful escape…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
Polly Crosby grew up on the Suffolk coast, and now lives deep in the Norfolk countryside. THE BOOK OF HIDDEN WONDERS was awarded runner up in the Bridport Prize’s Peggy Chapman Andrews Award for a First Novel, and Polly also won Curtis Brown Creative’s Yesterday Scholarship, which enabled her to finish the novel. She currently holds the Annabel Abbs Scholarship at the University of East Anglia, where she is studying part time for an MA in Creative Writing. THE WOMEN OF PEARL ISLAND is her second novel.
Twitter: @WriterPolly Instagram: @ polly_crosby Facebook: @pollycrosbyauthor Goodreads
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