Christmas Awards 2011

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Cruellest Month

The Cruellest Month by Janet Mary Tomson
Published by Robert Hale
ISBN 978-0-7090-8989-6

Grace Harrison is approaching 60 years of age. Her mother, Edna, has just died and Grace has been left very much alone to contemplate her life and what might have been.

At 18, Grace met the love of her life, Joe, who was visiting his grandparents on the Isle of Wight from Australia. They fell very much in love and, despite having to return to Australia in the meantime, Joe was due to start Warwick University in October that year. Grace had been entered for the Civil Service examination and if she passed, intended to work in London, but with offices all over the country, maybe a vacancy would arise near Warwick! Life looked promising for the young lovers, but as she was taking her A levels, Grace received a letter from Joe telling her his plans had changed and he would not be returning to the UK. A devastated Grace later learned that Joe had returned to Australia to find out he had got a girl into trouble and was doing the decent thing by marrying her.

Grace went on to pass her Civil Service entrance examination and left the Isle of Wight to work in London. She had only been there a year when her father had a stroke and she returned home to help her mother care for him until his death. Grace’s plan to return to London after her father’s death was curtailed when her job was no longer open, but there was a vacancy on the island and so she started work in the local office. Tied to the island by her demanding mother, the years rolled by uneventfully for Grace until she finally had to give up her job to care for the failing Edna. On her mother’s death, save for a cousin, Joan and a neighbour, Molly, Grace was very much alone.

This unhappy situation does not last long, however, as her life is turned upside down within days by the arrival at her home of Joe’s son, Alex and a disturbing discovery in her garden. But events do not end there by any means, as Grace’s life turns into a roller-coaster journey with men falling at her feet and vying for her affections, each with the promise of a very different future for her.

Read on to find out which path Graces chooses and the startling truth about the discovery in her garden. You will not be disappointed.

This book is truly enthralling and epitomises the fact that life can sometimes suddenly throw everything at you when before there was nothing! The characters are believable and endearing and the plot moves at such a pace that the book is impossible to put down. I can highly recommend this book and am very pleased to have had the opportunity to read and review it.

I award this book five red roses.

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