Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Review: Ember Island

Ember Island: A NovelAuthor: Kimberley Freeman
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Touchstone

A riveting story of secrets and scandal.

1890: Orphaned as a small child, Tilly Kirkland found a loving, safe home with her grandfather in Dorset. But nineteenth-century England is an unforgiving place for a young woman with limited means and as her grandfather's health fails, it seems perfect timing that she meets Jasper Dellafore. Yet her new husband is not all he seems. Alone in the Channel Islands, Tilly finds her dream of a loving marriage is turning into a nightmare.

2012: Bestselling novelist Nina Jones is struggling with writer's block and her disappointing personal life. Nothing is quite working. After a storm damages Starwater, her house on Ember Island, she decides to stay for a while and oversee the repairs: it s a perfect excuse to leave her problems behind her on the mainland. Then Nina discovers diary pages hidden in the walls of the old home. And a mystery unravels that she is determined to solve.

Though the two women are separated by years, Starwater House will alter the course of both their lives. Nina will find that secrets never stay buried and Tilly learns that what matters most is trusting your heart.

Only the luckiest brides married in June, and Tilly could not believe how lucky she had been.

I had plenty of anxieties of my own to keep me awake.

All times pass.

This is a highly engaging novel that spans between two eras and two characters: Tilly as a newlywed in the 1890’s and Nina, a bestselling novelist, in 2012. Both of these women were drawn to Starwater House, a beautiful home on Ember Island. Tilly’s marriage, and her husband, did not turn out how she thought they would. When her marriages ends in shambles she flees to find solace on Ember Island. Years and years later, in 2012, Nina Jones flees to Ember Island in order to complete her next book, which she is having trouble writing. Nina stumbles across diary pages hidden in the walls of her old family home. Together, Tilly and Nina share secrets and learn that some of them are better off buried and forgotten.

Ember Island is full of intriguing characters and enough secrets and mystery to keep anyone reading for hours. I found myself vigorously turning the pages just to find out what was going to happen next. The lives of both of these women were incredibly engaging and the way their lives connect is completely astonishing. The plot was extremely well-written; I believe this would make a wonderful movie. The book deals a lot with putting your past behind you so that you may learn to accept your future. Not only do we have awesome characters like Tilly and Nina, but we also get to see a little bit of Nell, the girl that Tilly is hired to educate. Nell is the reason we have so many of Tilly’s memories, and she adds so much to the book as well.

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Touchstone in exchange for my honest review***

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