Diana Milne Reviews Take Me To Your Heart Again by Marius Gabriel. The author has offered a giveaway to one lucky winner. To be in with a chance of winning this amazing novel, simply leave a comment below or on our Facebook page. The winner will be drawn on 8th August 2016. Good luck!
Tensions between three sisters, divided by life and love, are about to spill over into all-out conflict.
It is 1942 and the world is at war. The eldest of the Redcliffe sisters, Isobel, impulsive and ideological, strives to make herself heard in a world distracted by violence. But her ambitious new path is strewn with obstacles, not least a private scandal that threatens to become public. Optimist Chiara has had to grow up fast, to set aside teenage dreams and make way for the unexpected realities of adulthood—but who can she count on for help? Meanwhile Felicity has challenges of a more spiritual nature: will her journey of self-discovery lead her away from the convent she thought was her calling?
Separated by distance and war, Isobel, Chiara and Felicity must learn to confront life’s challenges with passion, strength—and unity. Because family is the tie that binds tightest of all.
This is the second title in the Redcliffe Sisters series and follows on from Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye.
I have read many books by Marius Gabriel (sorry Mr G! I haven’t had time to review them all yet - life gets in the way of good intentions) and all of them have been enjoyable and engrossing from page one, but this one really stood out and I read it in about a day and a half, barely stopping to eat and sleep.
The first thing you notice is the cover and the careful choice of the period photo and the colour, together with the excellent use of unusual fonts, set the tone for a compelling and engaging story.
The book is part two of a trilogy, but would easily work as a ‘stand alone’ book and although what happened in book one is made known to the reader, it is not done in an invasive way and just flows naturally as part of the story, not as pages of tedious repetition that would be boring or unnecessary to readers of Wish Me Luck. In this book we meet again the Redcliffe sisters, three young women as different as chalk, cheese and blue paint, who despite their differences have a solid core of love, tested to the limit by the vagaries of war and each girl’s actions.
Gabriel is a master of his craft – an extraordinarily gifted wordsmith and a meticulous researcher. Hours of study must have gone into ensuring every aspect of this book to be historically accurate. I am in awe at the amount of old photos and documents Gabriel must have pored over, let alone visiting the places he writes about so that he can paint word pictures enabling us to see the scenes portrayed in the book.
The opening chapter hits with the power of a left hook. Not only is Gabriel a dab hand at descriptions, his dialogue flows naturally and his understanding and depiction of emotions show a rarely paralleled mastery.
“And a garret suited her mood. She didn’t want to see anybody outside of work, didn’t want to have to entertain or be entertained, didn’t want room to expand...
“To another woman, the stone walls of the attic might seem bleak. To her they were a fortification. She was safe up here, walled off from the world, not needing anything and not needed by anybody.”
Mr. Gabriel’s knowledge of Cairo and London brings those wonderful and exotic cities to life and without giving too much of the story away, the depiction of an air raid in London and a riot in Cairo were so vividly realistic, that I felt caught up in the terror and violence.
Occasional flashes of Gabriel’s wonderful sense of humour come across so vividly, “Our leaders have a touching idea that Rommel is exhausted and will pull back at the last minute to rest. In my opinion, That’s like hoping a man will pull back and rest when a girl’s got her knickers off and her legs open.”
I only have one complaint!! Book three is not out yet! Mr. Gabriel. Hurry up! I need my fix!!
About the author: Marius Gabriel served his author apprenticeship as a student at Newcastle University in the North of England, where, to finance his postgraduate research, he wrote thirty-three steamy Mills & Boon romances under a pseudonym. His identity as a man had to be kept secret until he turned to longer fiction under his own name. Gabriel is the author of eight sagas and historical novels, including the bestsellers The Mask of Time, The Original Sin and The Seventh Moon, and was once accused by Cosmopolitan magazine of ‘keeping you reading while your dinner burns’. He very seldom burns his own, however, being an enthusiastic cook, as well as an artist and a musician. Born in South Africa in 1954, he has lived and worked in many countries, and now divides his time between London and Cairo. He has three grown-up children ... and is a damned good fellow with a wonderfully wicked sense of humour and a good friend! (This last sentence is not part of the official biography!)
© Diana Milne – aka d.arcadian, letterpress seller extraordinaire, genius, entrepreneur and author of various To Do lists.