Saturday 5 May 2012

Ninepins and The Lovers of Pound Hill

"Ninepins is an isolated former tollhouse, standing high on a bank beside a waterway in the Cambridgeshire fens. Since her divorce, Laura has lived there alone with her 12-year-old daughter, Beth. Below the bank in the garden stands the old pumphouse which she rents to student lodgers. But this year’s lodger is different: Willow is seventeen, and in local authority care. Battling down her reservations, Laura takes her on.
Do Willow’s strangenesses and her troubled past make her a threat to Laura and, especially, to Beth? What were the circumstances surrounding the act of arson which led to Willow being taken into care?
Ninepins traces a mother’s fears for her daughter and her struggles to decide whether Willow is vulnerable or dangerous – or perhaps a bit of both"
Set beside a dark steep-sided almost threatening Fenland lode or waterway, this novel is in turn more serious than Rosy Thornton’s previous books, but even more enjoyable. It explores the relationship between a single mother and her daughter. Now that Beth is finding her feet at secondary school she wants to hang out with her new hip friends, but unsurprisingly Laura is reluctant to let her have as much freedom as she demands, particularly as the new friends seem scary and undesirable.  Should Laura be paying more attention to the enigmatic unhappy Willow, deeply admired by Beth? I read far into the night to find out.  While not exactly a thriller, not exactly a romance, it explores problems that affect many of us - when to let go.
Booksplease has written an excellent review. Here is Rosy's website.

The Lovers of Pound Hill by Mavis Cheek
Mavis Cheek fans should enjoy this comedy about a young archaeologist who turns a staid English village upside down. I can’t say I became involved with all the many (sometimes unlikely) characters but Mavis Cheek can be amusing, of course. The squire & his wife had attitudes from another era, but maybe there are such people still around.
"When archaeologist Molly Bonner arrives in the village, she creates quite a stir. With her determined manner and alluring looks, she sets off a wave of intrigue. Nobody knows exactly what she’s up to, but Molly is a girl on a mission: to discover the truth behind Lufferton Boney’s much-loved and most notorious resident, the giant (and slightly obscene) Gnome, a fertility symbol etched into the face of Pound Hill. As she works her way into the villagers’ hearts, Molly needs to keep one step ahead as she pursues the secret that only the Gnome can reveal….
;more "


Deborah Lawrenson said...

Rosy Thornton AND Mavis Cheek - perfect Bank Holiday reading!

CarolynB said...

Thanks for this post -- I look forward to reading both and have signed up to see/hear Rosy T. at our local library next month.