Having read and loved the authors two previous books I have waited and anticipated a new title by her for quite some time. So I was eager to read this and very fortunate to receive an advance copy.
I quite simply LOVED it.
The author has the amazing skill of creating, convincing characters whose skin you can slip inside for the duration of the book. Strong, credible women who live a life so different to my own it would seem virtually impossible to relate to them. Yet the women she creates have left such an indelible mark on me it feels as though they have left a fine layer of themselves in my soul.
She writes about well researched austere locations where I have never been yet by the time I finish reading I feel as though I once lived there. This time we visit the location of Rural Utah in a secluded valley amidst harsh yet dramatic landscapes in the late 1800s.
This book is leisurely and gradual, gentle and rather bleak and the narrative is precise and sometimes spare, which creates a real feel of the isolation and loneliness of living in a remote place with few people to talk to. It is set in the middle of a bleak snow-filled January and was the perfect winter read.
For the time I was in this story I WAS Deborah, the glovemaker.
She is one of a small breakaway group of Latterday Saints, Mormons who live apart from most of their faith as they hold themselves slightly apart in that they don't comply with or even condone the plural marriages practised by others of their religion.
Deborah lives with her husband, who is a travelling wheel repairer visiting equally remote villages and farms repairing and making wheels for the folk who need this service. His return home is overdue and as Deborah waits and longs for his arrival, she joins forces with her step brother in law, when a fugitive lands on her doorstep, bringing danger and a real threat to her which she couldn't anticipate.
Don't expect fast-paced, rip-roaring action, this book is deliberate, takes place mainly over a brief period and it is quite sombre and bleak. Yet I completely adored it.
If you appreciate a well-told absorbing tale, great characters and unique locations you just can't miss this. I felt very bereft when I finished this piece of stunning historical fiction.
From the critically acclaimed author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree comes The Glovemaker – a stunning historical novel for fans of Cold Mountain.
For almost four years, men came to my cabin carrying trouble on their backs, each one haunted and looking over their shoulders . . . They showed up during the spring, they appeared in the summer and early fall. But never now, never in January . . .
Winter, 1888. In the inhospitable lands of Utah Territory, glovemaker Deborah Tyler awaits her husband’s return home after months working across the state. But as his due date comes and goes without a word, Deborah starts to fear the worst. Facing a future alone, matters are only compounded when a desperate stranger arrives on her doorstep. And with him, trouble.
For although the man claims to just need a place to rest for the night, he wouldn’t be here in the bitter month of January if he wasn’t on the run. And where he goes, lawmen are sure to follow. Lawmen who wouldn’t think twice about burning Deborah’s home to the ground if they thought she’d helped their fugitive.
With her husband’s absence felt stronger by the minute, Deborah must make a decision. A decision that will change her life forever . . .