I was provided with a copy of this book to facilitate my review, but that has no impact whatsoever on my thoughts and does not hold any weight in the reasons I loved this book as much as I did. Pinky promise. There are affiliate links throughout this post.
Barbara Claypole White is one of my favorite authors, and if you are a reader of mine you know this already. If you haven't read her work before, or maybe haven't seen my reviews of some of her other novels, I'll share those links with you at the end of this post so you can find out what you've been missing.
Echoes of Family is such a good book, y'all.
It's only been out a short minute and people are falling in love with the characters left and right. And this is why.
Because Marianne is someone you know. Or have known. Or want to know.
Or, maybe ...
Marianne is you.
A woman dealing with a difficult past and a history of mental health diagnoses, Marianne fled England in her late teens because it was absolutely time for her to make a break for it. She wound up in North Carolina, and we love where she is now. We love the support she has. We love her husband. Her "daughter" (quotes indicating that this is a daughter in relationship, but not biologically or adopted). We relate to her. We hear her. We feel her. Feel FOR her.
Goodness, Marianne is a hot mess sometimes. And we know that this is real life. We know that people live with these sorts of illnesses all the time, and sometimes a manic depressive goes off on a tear and a tangent and there's nowhere else to go but with them.
Marianne does that here.
She flees back to England after an incident in North Carolina, and after the echoes of her memories start to haunt her. She leaves Darius (the husband), and Jade (the daughter), and takes off across the globe.
Barely in England a minute and she runs into the one person she wishes she would never see again. Gabriel. He's a vicar, and she's in his church. He takes her in and we learn more and more about them. Each character, on their own, has a charismatic way of functioning and communicating. And when you bring them together you're bound to simply love them.
Even if you're not sure you would if you knew them.
But it doesn't matter, because Claypole White does that when she writes. She writes characters that are complex and intense, and unhealthy in a number of ways. In ways that they don't take good care of themselves, and so who they are comes through like wildfire, ruining pretty much all the things.
Marianne is that character. Kind of. Sort of.
I had the unbelievable privilege of meeting Barbara Claypole White yesterday. I still can't believe it. She, too, lives in North Carolina, and so I've tried to see her speak and read a number of times, but it's never happened. Until now.
She's such a sweet and real person, and I love that. I love being able to support someone who is honest and real and raw. She speaks freely about her family, most especially her son, whose support in her writing cannot be ignored. Her son and her husband are truly her first line of readers, and what a fabulous support system they are.
Echoes of Family is such a phenomenal read, you really need to go to Amazon right now and get yourself a copy. That said, I've got a pleasant surprise for you, my readers!
I wound up winning a copy at the event yesterday, and so I asked Barbara to sign a copy for one of you. And she did. And so that's up for grabs.
I'm giving you one mandatory way to enter, which has me asking you to leave a comment for me here on this post. You can pretty much talk about whatever you want to, I just ask that the comment have more than about ten words, I want Google to know you're a human and you've got something to say, if you don't mind.
And then I'm giving you several other opportunities, which really means should you decide to share this post on social media, come back and comment with the URLs so I can find them and recognize them as entries for this giveaway.
This giveaway isn't sponsored, I just got extra lucky and won the copy, and thought how better to support the author than to give it to one of my reading friends? Because once you love it, and her writing, and you will, you're bound to do some sharing of it yourselves.
Oh, and if you haven't yet read The Perfect Son? Go. Now. get yourself a copy because it's on sale on Amazon for Kindle and it's the best deal ever and if I'm being honest, it's my favorite book of Claypole White's. I love Echoes of Family, I promise I do, but The Perfect Son moved me in ways that my words do no justice. Which, honestly, is why - and I just realized this - I didn't publish a complete review of the book. That amazes me. I swore I had, but I think I was so moved by it that I never got it out there. Gasp! I did, however, include it in my Top Ten Reads of 2015. So, yeah, that's saying something.
Review for The Unfinished Garden
Review for The In-Between Hour
So - leave me your comment and let me know what you're reading, or why you want to read this book, or if you've heard of Barbara Claypole White before. And drop me a hey so I know you're sharing and you'll be entered to win.
Good luck, and happy reading!