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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 this slow drip of information that kept me turning the pages. I found myself particularly eager to discover the truth about Joe, and definitely began to fancy him 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.
Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson reviewed HERE