Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Dangerous Waters - Anne Allen



‘Was it a real memory or was her mind playing tricks on her?’


We meet writer Jeanne Le Page as she is on the ferry returning to her home on the island of Guernsey for the first time in many years. After the mysterious death of her parents, a riddle that has still never been solved, she is revisiting the place to sort out affairs after the death of her Grandmother who has left her old cottage to Jeanne. Having experienced a difficult, unhappy time in her life recently, Jeanne might be glad of the escape from England. However there are so many ghosts and traumatic memories for her on Guernsey that it is certain to be a difficult return; ‘the ghosts of the past were not going to lie down quietly.’


Jeanne initially intends to simply sell her inheritance and leave, however she makes a discover in the cottage relating back to the time of the German Occupation, and that makes her want to find out more and then she has to determine whether there is any future for her on Guernsey, whether she can come to terms with the events of her past there, and find some peace and a new life:

‘Would Guernsey be able to offer her the healing she so badly needed? She had loved it once. Perhaps the spark was still there.’

We follow Jeanne as she sets about the updating and renovation of the home left to her by her Gran, meeting up with old friends who are a great support to her, in particular Molly and Peter, and rekindling old acquaintances from school days. As she begins to establish herself on the island, the intriguing discovery she made will set in course a new and exciting writing project for her, and Jeanne wonders if she can finally lay the past to rest. But there is one thing that remains unsolved, namely the mystery surrounding her parents’ death, and the disturbing flashbacks that Jeanne experiences from time to time. And whilst this is unanswered, there seems to be an element of danger for Jeanne herself, too, in knowing who to trust. Molly offers to use her experience with hypnotism to help Jeanne revisit her memories and try and unearth the truth.

This is an enjoyable and intriguing read by Anne Allen, full of romance and mystery, and the setting of Guernsey is well evoked. Jeanne is a likeable main character; she is talented, brave and resourceful but also apprehensive and unsettled by recent and past events, and seeks to create some stability and normality in her life. She has suffered much pain and at times it overwhelms her.

I liked the author’s inclusion of historical aspects alongside and within the modern day story, which added to the intrigue and revealed more about Jeanne’s family heritage, as well as adding colour to the island’s past during the German Occupation. I also liked the mystery of the room in Jeanne’s Gran’s cottage which always held a chill for Jeanne whenever she entered. I wondered what it was that she sensed there. I was drawn into Jeanne’s life and her friendships on the island, and I found the story regarding her Gran interesting and moving. I enjoyed reading this atmospheric novel with its combination of love story and mystery. 


Published by Matador, an imprint of Troubador Publishing

Thanks to the author for kindly sending a copy of this novel to read and review.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks, Lindsay! I'm glad that you enjoyed 'Dangerous Waters'. I'll have to press on with the next one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting Anne, and for the opportunity to read this book, I enjoyed it. Looking forward to your next book!

      Delete
  2. This sort of book is irresistible to me - I have read so many atmospheric stories recently about women trying to solve mysteries from the past, or running away from skeletons in their closet! I would like to pick up a copy of this at some point.

    Marie
    http://www.girlvsbookshelf.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting Marie! It sounds like this one could be up your street - Jeanne has a lot to solve from deep in her past and from her recent past too.

      Delete
  3. This sounds good! I am adding it to my TBR list for Friday's post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much for commenting Becca!

      Delete
  4. Great review, Lindsay! I just started reading this - enjoying it very much so far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting Wendy, I hope you did enjoy this one.

      Delete

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. It's great reading your comments and I really appreciate them :)