Friday, 7 September 2012

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary's writing is always beautiful, evocative and classy.

Richard Wilde Richard Wilde

My review -

This was a lovely story, sensitively handled. Richard Wilde is at the end of a long life and eager to set down the story of his family's darker side, its secrets, before his impending death. He is looked after by a young woman, Sharon and her small son who come to live in his large old farmhouse to take care of him. The growing affection between Richard, Sharon and the boy is beautifully told.

Richard Wilde has been a farmer and a professional soldier in India and the tale of his life is gripping - I stayed up very late to finish it! His family is close but harbours sinister secrets and Richard is drawn in through his love of the family members. There are many poignant moments in this book and much to think about. I really enjoyed reading it and I thoroughly recommend it.

The Imperfect Tense   The Imperfect Tense

My review -

This beautifully told story takes place in France in 1950. If it put me in mind of anything it was Birdsong but here the war was over, although its echoes were still to be felt. I found this story much more accessible, more human. The countryside of France with its vineyards, the family members, especially the wise Grandmere with her vegetable garden, were finely drawn and very believable. The growing relationships were fascinating. Eleanor, the heroine, was the catalyst which brought the little girl, the Grandmere, the farmer Etienne, together as a real family. There is a dark side to this tale too. It's anything but saccharine in its beauty.

Eleanor's family situation at home had been austere and I was so glad to see her father, suffering from the dreadful effects of being a prisoner of war, find some fulfilment. Mary Fitzgerald is a fine writer. Her craftsmanship shows here both in the delightful construction of the tale itself and in the well drafted characters she portrays. It's an engrossing story and I wholeheartedly give it a 5 star recommendation.

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