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Romans 8:39

Funny things
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(Or even a bad one)

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Joined May 2020

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If you want to review any of my writing, please do criticise it so i can improve, don't be afraid to be blunt! If you want a review for your work do ask, I like writing them! :)

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

January 19, 2021

    Fresh, sparkling and mysterious as the Cornish sea - A Sky Painted Gold is a moving story of love, dreams and friendship in 1920s Cornwall.
    Lou lives with her seven siblings in a small farmhouse on the coast of Cornwall, England. In London, the glittering parties and balls of the 1920s are in full swing. Lou eagerly follows their stories in the newspaper - including the adventures of the Cardew family, who own the Cardew House - "a treasure left alone and unloved for too long" - which is situated on an island off the coast of Lou's home town. Lou has longed to visit the house for years, and one day she finally submits to her curiosity and makes her way over the causeway.
    Lou secretly visits the house often, and falls in love with it. But then the owners return, bringing with them the cream of London society to spend the summer partying and relaxing. Suddenly, the sumptuous, glittering world of the Cardews is thrown open to Lou and she wanders through an enchanted summer, accompanied by her new friends Bernie, Caitlin and Robert. But "all that glisters is not gold", and as Lou begins to discover this, so her perfect idea of the Cardews' world starts to unravel, and she must confront questions about her own future.
    The book is narrated in the first person by Lou; you see the whole story through her eyes. Her voice is witty and engaging, and the story is deeply personal. She is at times bitingly sharp and funny - especially opposite people she doesn't like - and at times vulnerable and confused, unsure how to navigate the world she finds herself in. Her character is easy to care about, and through her eyes, you care about the other characters too. Her dreams and ambitions become your dreams and ambitions, and you are carried along with her until the very last page.
    One of the main themes of the book is the struggle to grow up and find your place in the world - most clearly seen when Lou says at the beginning of the story, "My life feels too small for me now, like a dress that I have outgrown" - she knows she wants something more but she says "[she is] the follower, not the leader", and can't contemplate breaking away to form her own future. Doubts about the future and memories of the past haunt the other characters; although the honoured guests at the Cardew House seem to have a perfect life, they too are hiding secrets and unhappiness. The twentieth-century viewpoints and values are mostly retained but through Lou's more modern eyes some contemporary views are expressed.
    I think I relate to this book because Lou loves writing and reading, and she reads and writes much more than me, which inspires me. The best thing about this book is how vivid and immersive it is. The descriptions are wonderful; from the luxurious houses of the rich to the natural beauty of the Cornish countryside, and create a rich and detailed picture of Lou's world. The author has created a solid, believable world and complex, interesting characters. At the end of the book I wanted to stay with the characters and follow the next step of their stories.
    The book is divided into three parts; at the beginning of each part there is a quote from The Great Gatsby. When I first read this book, I hadn't read The Great Gatsby; since reading it I understand why the quotes were included - the atmosphere, descriptions and even some of the characters bear some similarity to The Great Gatsby (not completely obviously but on a closer look there are some parallels). So ironically I am recommending this book to exactly the group that the prompt suggests: Great Gatsby enthusiasts. Although I would recommend it to a much broader group of readers; anyone who likes novels set in the past or specifically 1920s England; anyone who likes books about romance, friendship and dreams. It is a magical, beautiful read and I thoroughly recommend it.
Opening line inspired from a real-life review by Ella Risbridger (an author) - "As elegant and energising as a flute of fine champagne" - which I think is a brilliant description.


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  • January 19, 2021 - 4:41pm (Now Viewing)

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