Thanks for stopping by! I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for The Orchard Girls by Nikola Scott and sharing my review today. With thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite to join the tour and to the publisher for my copy via Netgalley. First things first let’s take a look at the description for the book…
London, 2004. Frankie didn’t always have it easy. Growing up motherless, she was raised by her grandmother, who loved her – and betrayed her. For years, the rift between them seemed irreparable. But when their paths suddenly cross again, Frankie is shocked to realise that her grandmother is slowly losing control of her memory. There is a darkness in her past that won’t stay buried – secrets going back to wartime that may have a devastating effect on Frankie’s own life.
Somerset, 1940. When seventeen-year-old Violet’s life is ripped apart by the London Blitz, she runs away to join the Women’s Land Army, wanting nothing more than to leave her grief behind. But as well as the terror of enemy air raids, the land girls at Winterbourne Orchards face a powerful enemy closer to home. One terrible night, their courage will be put to the test – and the truth of what happened must be kept hidden, forever . . .
In The Orchard Girls you will find an intriguing and compelling story with dual timelines. Nikola Scott wrote both of these timelines in equally engaging but different ways and in no time at all I was hooked. In terms of picking a favourite maybe the 1940’s timeline slightly edges it for me over the 2004 timeline. I guess there was that added element of danger and tension that intrigued me just that little bit more. However I will say that the modern timeline also helped to provide an extra emotional depth. As I got to know both Frankie and the now older Violet. Seeing the connection that had once been severed begin to show signs of being tentatively rebuilt really helped to give a heartwarming edge. Even if at times things looked a little shaky with both characters having their troubles. Especially Violet with her memory loss. Unfortunately along with this memory loss, secrets from the past are brought to the surface. Secrets that were buried long ago. This hint of a mystery from the 1940’s was also a brilliant addition to the story.
The Orchard Girls had a way of immersing me fully into the characters lives. The richly detailed writing was also another sure fire way of pulling me into the story. The pacing was pretty good throughout and the transition from one timeline to the other for the most part was also done very well. It was also really interesting to read a story featuring Land Girls. I haven’t read a story focusing on them before so I found it brought out an extra fascinating side to the story.
The intriguing characters and their complicated histories really made me care about them. There were so many wonderful elements to this book including family relationships, secrets, drama and life long friendships. This all combined to create a heartwarming and at times emotional experience for me. Here is where I admit that there were a few tears shed. Which just goes to show how invested I was. I’m so happy that I decided to read this story and I’m already eager to read Nikola Scott’s next book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nikola Scott started out in book publishing and worked as a crime fiction editor in America and England for many years. Turning her back on blood-spattered paperback covers and dead bodies found in woods, she sat down at her kitchen table one day to start her first novel — and hasn’t stopped writing since. Obsessed with history and family stories (‘How exactly did you feel when your parents gave the house to your brother?’) she is well-known – and feared – for digging up dark secrets at dinner parties and turning them into novels.
Her first two books, My Mother’s Shadow and Summer of Secrets, have both been international bestsellers and were translated widely around the world. Nikola lives in Frankfurt with her husband and two boys (and a kitchen table).
Once a month, Nikola sends out a popular newsletter about writing, reading, book news, freebies and loads of therapeutic baking. Join in here if you’d love to be a part of it all: bit.ly/NikolaScottNews
For more info on Nikola, visit her website at www.nikolascott.com
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