Review: Ember Island

June 5, 2014 Whitney Review 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Ember IslandEmber Island by Kimberley Freeman
Published by Touchstone on April 15, 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher

1890: Orphaned as a small child, Tilly Kirkland found a loving, safe home with her grandfather in Dorset. But nineteenth-century England is an unforgiving place for a young woman with limited means and as her grandfather's health fails, it seems perfect timing that she meets Jasper Dellafore. Yet her new husband is not all he seems. Alone in the Channel Islands, Tilly finds her dream of a loving marriage is turning into a nightmare.

2012: Bestselling novelist Nina Jones is struggling with writer's block and her disappointing personal life. Nothing is quite working. After a storm damages Starwater, her house on Ember Island, she decides to stay for a while and oversee the repairs: it s a perfect excuse to leave her problems behind her on the mainland. Then Nina discovers diary pages hidden in the walls of the old home. And a mystery unravels that she is determined to solve.

Though the two women are separated by years, Starwater House will alter the course of both their lives. Nina will find that secrets never stay buried and Tilly learns that what matters most is trusting your heart.

When my grandmother was a child she had a doll.  She was playing with this doll while work was being done on her home.  She set her toy down but when she returned it had been walled in, never to be seen again.  This what first came to mind upon the discovery of Nell’s Diary.

I wish I could continue this elegant, thoughtful reminiscence but as time went on, I began to think of this Arrested Development with George Sr. exclaiming “There’s always money in the banana stand!”

A complete 360 I know but my point is that beyond the frozen banana stand there is more than meets the eye.  This was the case in Ember Island.  The diaries were much more in-depth than the insurance policy Gob forgot to send but no less important.

Although, when I fell into Tilly’s story, I was reminded of Lillie Langtry.  Yes, I know she was a real person but for now I will refer to the 1970s mini-series.

Why did I go from crazy Arrested Development to classy Lillie Langtry?  Both Tilly and Lillie (I swear I didn’t choose that comparison because it rhymes).  believed they were in love, marrying an image and felt it an ideal way to get out of their current situation.  Soon after, Lillie and Tilly realize the life altering decision they have made and the dire straits it has put them in.  Even if for a little while they find solace in their ways and find the strength to free themselves.

Despite all these odd comparisons, Ember Island is a Gothic tale and like myself, was divulged to a modern reader.


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