Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Before the Storm - Judith Lennox

A wild autumn day in 1909: Richard Finborough catches sight of twenty-year-old Isabel Zeale at the harbour at Lynmouth and is captivated by her beauty. Scarred by her past, Isabel has no intention of letting anyone get close. But Richard pursues her, and his persistence and ardour win her heart.

The couple marry and have three children, Philip, Theo and Sara. A fourth is added when Ruby, the daughter of Richard's old friend, comes to stay with them after her father mysteriously disappears. The Finboroughs' lives seem enviably perfect.

Then, in the 1930s, the reappearance of an old acquaintance turns Isabel's world upside down, while Ruby uncovers a series of dark truths about her father that lead her to a terrible conclusion. As conflicts simmer in Europe, it seems that love, war and secrets are set to tear the family apart...

The best way I can describe this book is as a good summer read. Although the 600+ pages might seem daunting, this is an easy book to read and I plowed through it in three days. A great historical blockbuster that spans two generations of a family from the turn of the twentieth century until the end of WWII, this is perfect is you like romance, family sagas or historical settings. I'll admit that Lennox didn't exactly delve deep into the emotions of the characters - difficult with such a large cast - and I didn't always feel terribly connected to them, but she's fantastic at capturing the setting and the period. There was so much drama going on in this book, which made it difficult to put down, but I felt that it was quite sad in places. No one seemed to get what they wanted until near the end of the novel and there were so many broken and dysfunctional relationships - which I suppose is realistic for such families where marriages are made for social and financial reasons rather than love. All in all, a compelling, light summer read although nothing new or original. 7/10 

No comments:

Post a Comment