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An Almond for a Parrot: A Novel Hardcover – February 28, 2017
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"A bawdy, romping affair... Delaney mixes up genres-historical fiction, erotica, magic realism-to create something original." -The London Times
"An irresistible erotic fairytale for adults" -The Guardian
"Sally has captured the spirit of the 18th century and the life of courtesans, whores, dispossessed women, the heart-breaking female battle for autonomy, and the lives of men at all levels of society-entirely without pastiche or a single false note."
-Meg Rosoff, award-winning author of How I Live Now
"With elements of magical realism, plenty of sexy scenes, and a good dollop of drama, this is one hell of a read." -The Sun
"A compelling mix of bawdy romp and magical realism." -Red
"A fun, explicit romp with real stakes that will have you trying to finish this book in one sitting."
"Wray Delaney has written a saucy rags-to-riches erotic novel that is entirely entertaining"
"A rather spicy, yet sensitive and poignant read, and I truly do recommend introducing yourself to Tully Truegood, then settling down to hear her remarkable tale"
"The characterization is superb, the settings well-described and the storyline fast paced and intriguing."
About the Author
Wray Delaney is the pen name of Sally Gardner, the award-winning children's novelist who has sold over two million books worldwide and been translated into twenty-two languages. She lives in London.
Rachel Atkins is an actress, known for Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Broken Sword: Circle of Blood, and Pompeii: The Last Day.--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
To be honest, I didn’t expect to like this novel as much as I did. Published by Mira, a division of Harlequin, I suspect I am not exactly the targeted market for such a novel. However, Tully herself is such an engaging character that I could not help but to root for her to overcome all that life has thrown at her: a mother who died in childbirth, a father who was a drunken fool and who treated her as a servant and used her to erase his gambling debts, a bizarre marriage at the age of 12…the list goes on. Much of the book deals with Tully’s education as a courtesan in her step-mother’s Fairy House, and as such details her own sexual awakening. Falling in love is not the goal of a courtesan but when it happens to Tully, life changes forever after.
While mostly a romantic/erotic suspense novel, there are also elements of fantasy sprinkled throughout. Tully has “powers” such as the ability to see ghosts occasionally and allow others to see and hear them as well. A few other abilities manifest themselves from time to time but there is never an explanation of where such magic comes from or of any consequences from using it. As a fantasy aficionado, this sort of magic is not at all what I seek out in a fantasy novel but here it seems just fine. The powers do play an important role in the final part of the plot but for the most part, seemed somewhat unimportant to the story.
Overall, this was quit an enjoyable novel to read. Those who avoid “spicy” novels will likely want to steer clear of this one as well due to the large number of sex scenes although I will say they are handled with finesse and flowery/Victorian language. It’s certainly not porn. In the end it is a sweet romance story with a hugely satisfying ending.
How to give you an idea of what this book is like? Imagine the aura and setting of an old book mixed with themes of urban fantasy, magic, ghosts and necromancy with an 19th century setting.
The story starts with our main character sat in jail reflecting upon the past and the choices that have led to her facing the noose. The reader is then invited to follow Tully Truegood, as she is taught to control the passion within her.
She is taught the art of pleasure and how to pleasure others, which unfortunately also means heartbreak and disappointment. In her profession it can also mean violence and having to endure or watch violations and intimate betrayals.
Subtly interwoven into the story is a fascinating element of necromancy and ghostly magic. Tully can see the sins of the past, the horrors that haunt us and the mistakes everyone keeps very well hidden. It’s a talent and also a curse.
Delaney also writes with the eloquence of a writer of the 19th century. Her writing goes down like hot chocolate on a cold day. It’s simply a pleasure to read. Hopefully this was the first of many for Delaney. I know I will be both recommending this book and looking forward to the next.
*I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher, via NetGalley, for purposes of review.*
Thoughts: For the most part, Tully is an unorthodox but easy to root for heroine. I admit I rolled my eyes at first at the trope of the seemingly untutored character from humble beginnings apparently writing with such fluency and skill, but an explanation for that is later given. Also, I felt at times that certain probable aspects of Tully's work were being glossed over, but after 200 pages, the trials and tribulations come fast and furious for her. Overall, the author does a superb job conveying the atmosphere and setting of Great Britain in that period, and I liked the magic realism aspect. There[s also some pretty elaborate symbolism for such unglamorous acts, but it seems appropriate for that period.