Friday, 21 April 2017

The Wild Air - Rebecca Mascull - blog tour and review


I'm thrilled to be second up on the blog tour for the WONDERFUL new book The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull as I'm not sure I can keep my big mouth shut any longer about quite how ownderful I found this story. Wow The Wild Air blew me away (or maybe I should say FLEW me away)

The Blurb ..... 

A heart-warming, exhilarating novel about one young woman's determination to follow her dreams of becoming a pilot in the early 20th century.
In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.

When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother's aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.

But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything - and everyone - Della loves.

Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.



My Review:

What an utterly captivating heroine young Edwardian Miss Della Dobbs is.

When I finished reading this book I literally came back down to earth with a thud, I was so lost in the Wild Air with Della.

I was a touch unsure how I’d take to her to be honest as I like my heroines larger than life, feisty and confident and from the start it’s clear that Della is naturally none of these. 

So painfully shy she barely ever utters a word, even at home with her family. In a household of folk who know where they’re headed and with plenty to say about where they’ve been she is the misfit, the one with no skills, no personality and no ambitions (or has she?) Cowed and belittled by her (utterly despicable to my mind) self-centred, overbearing father who, denied the continuance of his distinguished career on the stage, makes a career out of being a disabled drama queen and an absolute boor (can you tell how much I disliked this character?)

No wonder that when black sheep of the family, great Aunt Betty, who dared to escape her mothers family folds, when she emigrated to America to marry a Yank, arrives back in England, widowed, childless and not quite socially acceptable, the two very different women are drawn to each other by their very apartness.

As Betty recounts tales of her life in America and the birth of air travel, Della begins to obsess with aeroplanes and pilots and flight, to hanker after being one of the first women to actually fly a plane and in her burgeoning love of flight is born the ambition, drive and determination to help her make her place in a changing world. We watch Della realize her ambitions from learning the rudiments of flight by building and flying kites on the nearby beach, to inveigling her way into a mans world to gain the flying lessons she yearns for.



Throughout this enchanting novel we watch her confidence and character grow and when she finds a love for which she will risk everything, my heart swelled with fondness and pride for her.

This is a coming of age, a love story and a historical novel about early flight which swept me along until I was flying alongside Della, who proves herself to be every bit the daring feisty heroine I wanted her to be all along.

The chacters in this book are all immaculately drawn, believable and real with flaws and failings and little quirks which made me feel I knew them all. The era it is set in is breathtakingly depicted with passion and the speech and mannerisms of the characters is appropriate and mesmerising.

I also became deeply immersed in the history and development of flight, another aspect I was a little unsure of before I began to read this. The authors detailed knowledge and obvious passion for this subject shines through and charmed and entertained me throughout. Such devoted research was translated so engagingly I was educated and enchanted by every word.

Reminiscent of the wonderful book series Flambards by KM Peyton which I adored and devoured in my teens (the very epitome of early young adult fiction) this is a heart-warming and gripping girls own, for adults, story, wonderfully told.

Even if you have no interest in the history of flying read this gorgeous tale, I'm confident you too will be utterly swept away by Della's memoirs.

Published by Hachette - part of the Hodder and Stoughton group you can discover more about this talented author at Hachette.co.uk

Biographical Notes: 

Rebecca Mascull is the author of THE VISITORS and SONG OF THE SEA MAID. She has previously worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England. Visit her website rebeccamascull.tumblr.com.





Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Escape - CL Taylor - taut page turner



My Review

A thoroughly entertaining and gripping psychological suspense story by the wonderful CL Taylor, author of The Accident The Lie and The Missing all taut, suspense filled Domestic Noir/ psychological thrillers.

In The Escape we follow the life of Jo, our main protagonist, who is the Mother of a little girl Elise, and is married to an investigative journalist Max. Jo is suddenly approached and threatened, by a stranger, a woman called Paula who warns Jo that she needs to keep a closer eye on her daughter and that her husband has taken something that belongs to Paula.

Now if Jo's reactions to this encounter seem a touch extreme this is explained when we realise that she is agoraphobic, in fact as we immerse ourselves deeper in her story it is revealed that she has several mental health issues, is somewhat unstable and doubts begin to creep in. My empathy for her began to waver slightly as she becomes the atypical unreliable narrator around which many psychological thrillers are woven and the ideal breeding ground for mistrust and red herrings.

Then more facts about her home life are revealed and I'm back in her corner, rooting for her, but maybe I was right to be sceptical? and so on, the wavering, is she behaving logically or is she a fruit loop keeping me on a knife edge. Who IS this Paula and what is her story? Is husband Max as devoted as he would at first appear?

But it is never in doubt that Jo loves her daughter deeply and it becomes clear that she will stop at almost nothing to protect her. There is a parallel storyline, that of Mary, an older woman who is also battling stress and the prolonged effects of grief after losing a child in terrible circumstances. Coincidence puts these 2 women on a collision course.

I won't reveal too much more about the story, suffice to say that if you loved CL Taylors earlier thrillers you'll devour this one. It's dark and twisty and very clever and its a damned good read to keep you turning the pages late at night.


The Blurb

"Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…"
When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.

The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.


No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.