Thursday, 17 April 2014

Book Review: Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase - Louise Walters

Synopsis - Roberta likes to collect the letters and postcards she finds in second-hand books.  When her father gives her some of her grandmother's belongings, she finds a baffling letter from the grandfather she never knew - dates after he supposedly died in the war.

Dorothy is unhappily married to Albert, who is away at war.  When an aeroplane crashes in the field behind her house she meets Squadron Leader Jan Pietrykowski, and as their bond deepens she dares to hope she might find happiness.  But fate has other plans for them both, and soon she is hiding a secret so momentous that its shock waves will touch her granddaughter many years later...

Review - I won this ARC from a contest on Beadyjan's Bookshelf a couple of months ago.  The book group chose Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase out of my selection of books for review this month.  This is Louise Walters debut novel.

The story is told over a dual timeline.  We are introduced to present day Roberta who is given a suitcase containing books and letters belonging to her grandmother.  We are then taken back in time to Word War Two and the life of Dorothea, Roberta's Grandmother "Babunia".

The story begins with a letter to Dorothea from her beloved Jan.  We gradually learn the history leading up to why this particular letter was written.  This is the letter that Roberta finds on opening her Grandmother's suitcase which poses some big questions about Dorothy's past.

As stated above the story is told in dual narrative and in this case it works well.  I liked the lyrical writing and the story unfolded beautifully.  All the characters were well rounded and drew me into their world.  A story of love, loss, tragedy and friendship, even from the most unexpected corner.  A great debut novel.  I look forward to Ms Walters next book.  4*

ISBN 9781444777240 Hodder & Stoughton 2014

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