Today sees the publication of Homecoming by Luan Goldie. I’ve just finished her first novel Nightingale Point and will definitely be reading her latest book if this one is anything to go by. It was so good, I can’t honestly see anything I read this year being better so it’s definitely one for my top best reads of the year for my end of year review.
About the Book
On an ordinary Saturday morning in 1996, the residents of Nightingale Point wake up to their normal lives and worries.
Mary has a secret life that no one knows about, not even Malachi and Tristan, the brothers she vowed to look after.
Malachi had to grow up too quickly. Between looking after Tristan and nursing a broken heart, he feels older than his twenty-one years.
Tristan wishes Malachi would stop pining for Pamela. No wonder he’s falling in with the wrong crowd, without Malachi to keep him straight.
Elvis is trying hard to remember to the instructions his care worker gave him, but sometimes he gets confused and forgets things.
Pamela wants to run back to Malachi but her overprotective father has locked her in and there’s no way out.
It’s a day like any other, until something extraordinary happens. When the sun sets, Nightingale Point is irrevocably changed and somehow, through the darkness, the residents must find a way back to lightness, and back to each other.
What I thought
I loved this story from beginning to end. What a brilliant cast of characters. Each with their own story to tell but all connected to each other. Set in a block of council flats on a London estate each story is told from the characters view point chapter by chapter.
I knew nothing about this book when I started it. I hadn’t read any reviews. I remembered seeing it on Netgalley, and wanting to read it, but I already had enough on my TBR list. I didn’t even read the blurb properly because I’d remembered the book cover from Netgalley when it came up on Kobo as a 99p read, I just grabbed it and started reading.
I’m glad I got to read it this way. It was ticking along, I was enjoying each chapter and especially liked Tristan as I thought he was quite funny. Malachi came across as a nice person too, looking after his younger 15 year old brother Tristan, while trying to keep on top of the housework, the shopping and his Uni studies. He missed his ex girlfriend Pamela, who’d dumped him without much explanation and had gone to live with her mum in Portishead.
So we’ve got to know all the characters, how they all relate to each other and I’m reading along and then suddenly and without warning tragedy strikes. It is so dramatic. The writing brings the event to life in so much detail, almost like slow motion. It’s dramatic, horrific, and so real. I literally put a hand to my mouth in shock as I read on. Absolutely stunning writing.
The rest of the book is the aftermath. Life would never be quite the same again for any of the characters. They are all so real and believable too. They may be fictitious, but they are so well drawn, they could be anyone living on a housing estate right now. It is the skilful observations of the writer that brings these characters to life so that you feel for each of them every step of the way.
In the event of a real life tragic event, we get to see all the heartache, the shock and the horror on our TV screens, in the papers but once the media have gone, what happens then? This is what the author wanted to write about, to imagine and set out what happens to the devastated and the broken when all the immediate help has gone. How do survivors rebuild their broken lives?
I loved it. In parts there was humour, other parts pure heartache but above all an overriding sense of hope and courage. Absolutely brilliant and most worthy of five stars.
♥ Happy Reading ♥
Luan Goldie’s second novel Homecoming is out today in hardback and on Kindle. I have linked to the authors Amazon page where you can find both books listed.