I’m delighted to be sharing my review for Attend by West Camel as part of the blog tour today. First of all let’s take a look at the description for the book…
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters and set against the unmistakable backdrop of Deptford and South London.
I’m really not quite sure where to start with my review other than to say I was completely captivated! It was so very easy to be drawn into these characters lives with each one feeling equally important to the story. They really do become entwined together throughout the book and I didn’t want their stories to end. However a special mention has to go to Deborah as I especially loved her back story, it really did have a wonderful magical quality about it.
It’s safe to say that this book will stay with me for quite some time and that is the amazing power of a brilliant story! I loved the combination of both light and dark themes throughout with everything coming together to produce such a beautiful tale. I think the pacing of the story was spot on giving the reader time to get to know the characters so much so that they felt very real by the end. I think that each person reading this book will experience different emotions as you feel the loneliness of the characters but also see the friendships that begin to be forged. Along with your own thoughts about the events in this story as it crosses genres creating something very special. I have tried to be pretty vague regarding the plot as I would hate to ruin a single moment of this book. What I will say is that Attend is captivating and unique! I was left completely charmed!
With thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my copy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda Books with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghostwriting a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres,
A highly anticipated debut, blending the magical realism of Angela Carter and the gritty authenticity of EastEnders and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel.