A Diamond in the Sky by Margaret Pelling
|A Diamond in the Sky by Margaret Pelling|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Laurie|
|Summary: Dora used to have a lovely life: husband, young baby - but all that's gone now. A chance encounter with singleton Tom does wonders for her morale and may just help turn her life around.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: August 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
We meet Dora in a reflective mood in what used to be the nursery. Well, it still is - except there's no baby there now. Pelling tells us down the storyline exactly what happened and why and the (a bit mushy for me) title of the book is key to the story of Dora. It gets mentions throughout. As Dora sits in the empty nursery she can't help but re-live that tragic event all over again. Her arms were wrapping themselves around her so tight that she was having trouble breathing. She's now a total mess and that's about the sum total of her life at the moment. Dora now thinks she's a dreadful person. And no one will want to know a dreadful person, will they?
This is very much a modern book with plenty of modern language. For example, Dora's young niece and nephew call her Auntie Dozza. Due to Pelling's excellent characterization of Dora, her central character, I not only 'felt' for her but I also liked her immensely. I wanted to find out what she was going to do with the rest of her life basically.
We find out that Dora is now in her early forties (so she'd better get her skates on if she wants another child). But does she? Her estranged but considerate and gentle husband keeps in regular touch. But is it necessarily good for either of them. He keeps seeing Dora at her worst and is not sure what to do about it.
A chance encounter with eligible and nice Tom upsets the apple-cart. We get some vital background on Tom. A promising teacher who blotted his copy book, big time and now he's out of a job. He's also at a (convenient) loose end. Re-assessing his options. Funny that, so is Dora.
While this sexual attraction is being played out, other minor characters pop in and out of the story. There's Mel, for instance who's found herself pregnant while still at school. Is Tom the father? Some of these secondary characters don't make a great 'splash on the page' if you get my drift and I think one or two could be cancelled out. They didn't really register with me. But Dora did. And what was lovely about the lovely Dora was her spunky, sparkly and sometimes ditzy chats and conversations. She had plenty of them as she could talk for England frankly. But her musings, thoughts and opinions on various topics were refreshing, sad, funny and always natural. Very readable. I wanted to sit and have a coffee and a blueberry muffin in a cafe somewhere with Dora, that's how much I liked her.
The other character who I liked and had a presence on the page was a middle-aged man who still lived at home with mother. Conjures up a certain image straight away, doesn't it? His multi-layered character came across very well indeed. Quite a few characters were just plain nice and sometimes nice just doesn't do it.
The book is very much a light-ish romance and can be a bit girlie and gushy now and again. And can also be over-the-top too as in The next day was way too far in the future to think about. By then there might have been a terrorist attack or a meteorite might have wiped out civilisation. I think this sentence gives you a good sense of the overall tone of the book. Not to be taken too seriously. A good holiday read, for example.
Initially there's dearth of names to grapple with and some confusion perhaps over sets of twins and people called both Tom and Tommy but I took the book for what it was and enjoyed it. And I enjoyed the a-dora-ble (sorry about that) Dora most of all. Recommended.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might like to try Two Times Twenty by Bethan Darwin.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Diamond in the Sky by Margaret Pelling at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Diamond in the Sky by Margaret Pelling at Amazon.com.
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