Cover Your Eyes by Adele Geras
|Cover Your Eyes by Adele Geras|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: An unforgettable story highlighting how one deed committed when too young to realise the connotations can taint a life. A beautifully unfolding gem from someone who knows how to use the power of words.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: October 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
For London fashion journalist Megan forbidden love ends suddenly and painfully, just when she thinks it will blossom into something lasting and legitimate. Elsewhere, in the countryside, Eva Conway lives with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters in Salix House – the house that Eva used to call her own when she was a famous fashion designer. Now she feels alone, even in the heart of her family. Not only this but she also faces the loss of the home that means so much to her. As Megan and Eva's paths cross they discover that each of them has a dark guilty secret eating away at them, but then Salix House has secrets too.
For those of you who haven't heard of British author Adele Geras before, you've just come across a treat. Adele had written five adult books before this along with many children's tomes. She is one of women's fiction author Katie Fforde's favourite writers and this, Adele's 6th book is her first adult book for seven years. Add all that together and, in anyone's book Cover Your Eyes is quite an event.
This is one of those stories that we feel we recognise the path it will take but then a glimpse of its actual direction changes everything. We begin with Megan's broken affair and Eva's daughter Rowena's insensitive decision to sell Salix. On the strength of this we settle down to what appears to be a beautifully written study of love, loss and loneliness. The beautifully written part is accurate, however, when Adele opens the door to Eva's past we realise that something horrific has happened from which Eva has never recovered and our assumptions are dismissed.
As we're overwhelmed by the urge to hug Megan and Eva and to shake Rowena into some form of understanding (she may mean well but we're with Eva on this!), Adele shows us further glimpses in little tantalising vignettes from Eva's childhood. In this way we learn the reason for the shadow over her life and, indeed, the clever significance of the title.
There are of course other well-woven plot lines: Megan tries to love again, the charming moments we spend in the company of Eva's granddaughters Dee and Bridie, wondering where Eva will live when the house goes and about the details of Eva's mysterious marriage. Indeed the mystery surrounding husband Antoine tantalises us throughout the story.
Some of these plots evoke startling twists (although the path of Megan's love life is a bit predictable) and all are engaging in their own right. However Eva's childhood overshadows them all and it's these episodes leading up to the gut-wrenching reveal that I'll continue to be haunted by and remember.
It's only taken this one book for me to understand why Adele is a writers' writer and for me to hope that the next Geras novel is a lot closer than seven years away.
(Thank you so much, Quercus, for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: If this appeals and you'd like more of Adele's way with words, we definitely recommend Dido. Please don't be put off by the 'teens' label; good writing crosses generations as well as this originally Ancient Greek story does.
You can read more book reviews or buy Cover Your Eyes by Adele Geras at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Cover Your Eyes by Adele Geras at Amazon.com.
Cover Your Eyes by Adele Geras is in the Top Ten Women's Fiction Books 2014.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.
Adele Geras said:
How lovely to come home from lunch with a friend and find this marvellous review! Thanks so much! By the way, all four of my other adult novels are available from Quercus as ebooks! Thank you!