|The Parentations by Kate Mayfield|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: Mysterious, moving and rather marvellous – The Parentations is historical fiction unlike any you'll ever have seen before|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496||Date: March 2018|
|Publisher: Point Blank|
|External links: Author's website|
In eighteenth century London, sisters Fitzgerald, Constance and Verity are changed forever when they become entwined with the Fowler family - and charged with protecting a mysterious child. Fast forward to the London of 2015, and the sisters are still waiting - with no way of knowing if the boy is alive or dead. Far away, a hidden pool grants those who sup from it eternal life, but also forces them to keep a secret for two hundred years. As those years pass by, those who were granted immortality find that it's far from a blessing - with true darkness emerging in the absence of death.
Author Kate Mayfield is based in London. Her first book - The Undertaker's Daughter - was a memoir about her childhood as the daughter of an Uundertaker in a small, segregated town in the American South. She is the co-author of two additional non-fiction books, and is a graduate of both Western Kentucky University and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
The Parentations isn't the easiest book to get into – it jumps around a little whilst it sets up its tale, and left me hoping for a hook to fully lure me in. However, about 100 pages in I realised that I was grabbing every possible chance to pause and delve back into the world of The Parentations – one that, much like the book it comes from, is wholly original – packed full of splendidly depicted settings and eras, and covers topics such as love, death, and the nature of evil in vivid scenes.
A blend of speculative fiction, historical fiction and fantasy, The Parentations is full of richly drawn characters – with Clovis Fowler an unlikeable but constantly readable presence at the heart of the plot's events. There's an engaging warmth to most of the characters that draws the reader in and helps them navigate the plot – keeping them intrigued and involved until a conclusion that, for me, came all too soon. One final thing to note is quality of Kate Mayfield's prose – managing to be both engaging and driven but, in parts, moving and memorable – making for an excellent read and an author whose work I'll be extremely keen to see more of in the future.
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy – and for further reading I recommend The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements – another piece of gripping speculative historical fiction with strong female characters and beautiful prose.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Parentations by Kate Mayfield at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Parentations by Kate Mayfield at Amazon.com.
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