27/06/2008

Tell it to the Skies (by Erica James)

I first started reading books by Erica James about ten years ago, and have collected them all. On the whole I've enjoyed the most recent ones more than the older ones, although there have been a few exceptions which I was less keen on.

Her latest novel is 'Tell it to the Skies' and since it was on special offer, I ordered it from Amazon UK.

I thought it excellent - definitely one of the best by this author. It's about Lydia, a middle-aged woman who sees an unexpectedly familiar face whilst hurrying through Venice. She turns too quickly and manages to twist her ankle, meaning she is housebound for a few days. While her grown-up stepdaughter and some friends look after her, memories of the past arise. When it turns out that the young man she spotted is in love with her stepdaughter, and clearly the son of someone she knew, her emotions are in turmoil.

It's a massive coincidence, of course. But somehow it doesn't matter since it's at the opening of the book - and occasionally such things do happen Lydia clearly has a terrible burden of guilt from the past, which she is finally able to unload as the book progresses.

Rather than employing short flashbacks, which can be confusing, Erica James begins with a section she calls 'now' and after setting the scene, takes us to 'then' - Lydia's childhood, which is torn apart when her father dies and her mother gradually falls apart. Eventually she and her sister go to live with their strict grandparents who belong to a puritanical and fundamentalist religious sect.

The one bright light in Lydia's childhood is her ongoing friendship with Noah, a boy with a very weak leg who also has a horrible past.

I found the book absolutely gripping - a real page-turner which I could hardly put down. It was sometimes moving, and very well written. My only reservation was a couple of love scenes which became rather more explicit than I am comfortable with - but overall I thought it excellent, and will certainly re-read it in a few years. Highly recommended.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 27th June 2008

4 comments:

katelyn said...

i am 16 and read this book. and now i am a fan of erica james and hoas bought several other books of hers. tell it to the skies is a real page turner and i recommend it to all my friends and every girl. it explored my every emotion, of tears and laughter. i will deffinately read it again.

Anna said...

I was at the shops and I was looking at the book section, when I spotted this book, and so i read the blurb and it sounded interesting so I bought it! Next thing I know is, im addicted to the book.

It is well written, very sad, made me shed a few tears.But i enjoyed it a lot!!! Money spent well lol!

Anonymous said...

im 13 and i read this book..... i loved it! it was great and i was up till 4am to reading it! i loved it so much!
i cried so much towards the end, such a good book so well writen!

Anonymous said...

Im 15 and ive read this book for a second time and it was just as good as the first. Ive read other books by erica james but i think this is the best one. it is the sadest and the cutest story ever and was very heart warming!