- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Accent Press Ltd (January 28, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1783758694
- ISBN-13: 978-1783758692
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.3 x 5.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Redemption Song Paperback – January 28, 2016
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'Engaging and lively, empathetic and addictive... I was hooked from the off' -- Sarah Rayner, bestselling author of One Moment, One Morning
About the Author
Laura Wilkinson is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: Redemption Song, Public Battles, Private Wars, and The Family Line. She grew up in North Wales and now lives in Brighton with her family.
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Top Customer Reviews
Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber's review team
Redemption Song starts off on a lonely track in wintry North Wales when Saffron de Lacy's car breaks down and the mysterious Joe comes to her aid. He learns she is a Baptist minister's daughter; when he drives her home she invites him in, and he meets her mother, Rain.
The story tells of three people's road back from emotional trauma, and alternates between the points of view of Saffron, Joe and Rain. This is done very well, with each character's section revealing their hidden side without overdoing it, each 'voice' different enough to be convincing. A quick mention for the amusing surprise at the end of Chapter Three - like Joe, I didn't see it coming at all!
Rain is very real, and likable, but I found it hard to connect with either Joe or Saffron at first, as Saffron is an twenty-five year old, qualified doctor who behaves like a stroppy teenager, and Joe is a slightly rough and ready carpenter with the vocabulary of one much more educated; however, it soon becomes clear that there are many secrets to come out, about all three main characters, and these explain the incongruities; it was the slow drip of information that kept me turning the pages. I found myself particularly fascinated by the truth about Joe, who I definitely started to fancy as the book went on!
The minor characters are more immediately appealing. I could see Saffron's friend Ceri (the 'Welsh Vicky Pollard') straight away, and also her lovely father, and Saffron's nit-picking boss at Wynne's 'department store'; I've lived in small town Norfolk, and Wynne's sounded just like Cromer Indoor Market ~ very well drawn.
I chose this to review because I adored Laura Wilkinson's debut, 'Public Battles, Private Wars', set during the 1980s miners' strike. It's equally well written, but it's a very different sort of book, a slow paced, gradual unfolding with lots of detail, rather than a down-to-earth, events orientated drama. It's about the journey rather than the destination....
A nicely structured drama for readers who enjoy curling up and getting to know their characters in an in-depth fashion.
I found the opening of the novel to be a gentle introduction that built into an intense set of events in a seemingly ordinary town in Wales. The characters' lives are drawn in such a way that the reader feels like they know them. We want to get to know them better and hope that life works out for them. To garner this sympathy takes great skill as a writer.
After a car accident, in which Saffron loses both her father and fiancé, she drops out of medical school and is back living with her mother, Rain (a minister) and they tiptoe around each other. Both have secrets and tell lies, mostly by omission. This aspect was really interesting as it shows how mothers and daughters can often misunderstand each other and project feelings onto each other. This conflict was a great plot driver and human study.
Another interesting aspect is the way Rain is portrayed as a gutsy, down-to-earth minister of religion. She's not stereotypically ineffective, nor super-comedic like the Vicar of Dibley, she's smart and funny and real. Her spirituality provides the reader with a Christian figure with whom one might want as a friend.
Joe, the handsome love interest, also has secrets, and his secrets become entwined with Saffron and Rain's world. He is drawn in by Rain's spirituality, and instead of some great conversion experience, he finds a place where he can find peace and acceptance.
As someone who reads for inspiration, I found that the human dilemmas of the characters and the way they worked them out was satisfying. People find strength in truth, authenticity and gritty spirituality that is a far cry from romanticised denial of the realities of life and relationships.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Set in the Welsh seaside town of Coed Mawr, Redemption Song tells the story of mother and daughter Rain and Saffron.Read more