Hot Key Books (2014)
YA – historical, romance
Marnie, a dipper’s daughter in the fashionable village of Clevedon where wealthy ladies come for the ‘sea-cure’, leads a lonely life. She is judged for her disability, and ostracised in her community. Her life seems dull and pointless, until the arrival of Noah de Clevedon. Marnie is entranced by Noah’s sophistication and handsome looks, and he is intrigued by her mysterious charm and her connection to the sea. The two have a passionate secret love affair. However, what was a fun summer fling for Noah meant much more to Marnie. She becomes obsessed with him, and refuses to let anything stop their love.
Alison Rattle is an excellent historical writer and really captures the atmosphere of the fashionable bathing resort of 1868. Her characters, while not entirely likeable, are certainly memorable and have strong personalities. Marnie is not defined by her disability, she is a strong, brave character who fights for what she believes in, no matter what the cost. This is an emotional and tragic love story, with a convincing and detailed historical setting. The story is told in Marnie’s first person narration, interspersed with extracts from Noah’s journal. Rattle gives her protagonists distinctive voices, with Marnie’s way of speaking echoed in her narration. While I did not always like Marnie, it is very easy to feel sympathy for her – a lost girl who thought she had found someone to love her at last.
Originally reviewed for LoveReading4Kids.
Check out my review of Alison Rattle’s first book, The Quietness, here.