I have been a fan of Linda Gillard since I first discovered her writing in 2007 and I have enjoyed each and every one of them. For me the most exciting thing about starting her latest novel is the not knowing exactly what you are going to be getting within the pages. So far with each new title she has changed tack somewhat in her writing style and I suspect this is why she does not conveniently fit a publishers mould.
Untying the Knot, met all my expectations, except for the cover which I somehow feel does not do justice to the story. There was for me no connection with this and the story, but I knew little about it when I started reading. Unlike many readers I try to avoid reading too much information about a novel until after I have read it, which is why I dislike spoilers in reviews. If you like to learn more about the background of a novel before you read it, Linda has written a fabulous piece about Untying the Knot which does not contain spoilers but may help you decide if this is one for you. I certainly hope it is as by Linda's own admission it has been the hardest of her novels to write and I think she has tackled the difficult subjects raised with great compassion.
The protagonists are Fay and Magnus a divorced couple that seem unable to move on with their lives, due to their 'indissoluble bond'. Magnus returned from the Falklands War with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Fay was not the strong army wife that she feels she should have been. Now five years after their divorce, with regrets behind them, they are both still making dreadful decisions about their lives. Linking them together still is their daughter Emily and the fact that Fay is friendly with her ex mother in law Jessie.
The emotion and humour within the story is perfectly balanced as the narrative of Fay and Magnus's love unfolds. Fay is now working artistically with textiles and Magnus is restoring Tullibardine Tower which was once their home together and features strongly. You may not like their behaviour at times, particularly one situation they get themselves into, but these are realistic characters and sadly for people with their histories, entirely credible.
Why did I enjoy this so much? Well I think besides it being another well written story from a favourite author with a great plot and a fabulous ending, it felt real. You cannot fail to relate to at least some of the issues raised within the pages, well worth reading.
I would love to know what you think of Linda Gillard's writing, or if you have not read any of her novels I urge you to do so. My recommendation would be to read them in order of publication, as I felt that with each novel her writing just kept getting better. Can she keep up the standard well I hope so as I am already looking forward to the next one.
Twelve years later, she re-trained as a primary teacher and taught in Norfolk for some years. She moved to the Isle of Skye where she lived for six years in a house on a hill overlooking the Cuillin mountain range, featured in her first novel, Emotional Geology, (2005). In 2006 A Lifetime Burning and in 2008 Stargazing which was also partly set in Skye. The following year Stargazing was voted "Favourite Romantic Novel 1960-2010" by the readers of Woman's Weekly magazine.
Her fourth novel House of Silence was not published until 2011, as she was unable to find a publisher. As a Kindle e-book it very quickly became a bestseller, selling over 10,000 copies in four months.
If you are interested in finding out more about This author and her writing please visit some of the links I have listed below.
I read three of Linda Gillard’s previous novels before I started writing LindyLouMac’s Book Reviews but you may be interested in reading my Journal entries at Bookcrossing- LindyLouMac- Home Page
Emotional Geology – Journal Entries (read in 2007)
A Lifetime Burning – Journal Entries (I read this one in 2007 as well)
Stargazing – Links to my review reproduced on this blog for the RNA Award post. (I read this in 2008)
Stargazing - Journal Entries
Her fourth book I reviewed on LindyLouMac's Book Reviews last year.
House of Silence - My Review
Official Website for Linda Gillard Please visit her website as lots of interesting information, also if you are a Facebook Fan she has a Facebook Fan Page.
I am still hoping that one day Linda Gillard will get the recognition she deserves and hopefully we will see her novels being published in hard copy again, although I know she is having tremendous success with her e-book sales. Until then you need to find yourself an e-Reader if you are not familiar with her writing.
Biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the websites mentioned in the post and to Amazon.co.uk.