Friday, 23 February 2018

Review: In the Shadow of Winter by Lorna Gray

In the Shadow of WinterThe relentless winter of 1947 holds post-war Britain in its deadly grip, and Eleanor Phillips rides out from her beleaguered Cotswold farm to rescue a stranger lost in the storm. But the near-dead man is no stranger and when she recognises Matthew Croft, the old ties of a failed romance tug deeply. Her sweetheart has returned from the war…

Suspicion, the police and the panicked flight of a desperate man beat a path to her door. And with a wanted man hidden in her home and stealing back into her heart, Eleanor must be on her guard—for the net is closing in on them both and enemies are all around…

Ikira's Review: 4 out of 5 stars

When I first started reading this book, I had a very strong feeling of 'de ja vu'. I was certain I must already have read it because I knew what was coming but then I couldn't remember anything further than the next page...very odd, I thought. Then it hit me. I've tried to read it a few times and never gotten through the first chapter. Somehow though, this time, I was able to keep going. The de ja vu feeling had me intrigued enough to push past the difficulties I had with it. 

The author writes in a somewhat elaborate way. Her wording seemed quite superfluous to me in many scenes and in the beginning of the story, this made it a very slow starter. No doubt, I had a very good impression of the surroundings, Eleanors circumstances and how Matthew appeared to her but it just didn't seem to be going anywhere. I felt often frustrated and read only a few pages here and there to begin with.

A few chapters in, some action finally came, the story began to unfold and intrigue kept me coming back to it well enough to keep going but I did find I had to be in a  particularly relaxed mood to keep going. 

The story follows Eleanor; a single woman in post-war Britain. She's a straight-talking, straight-up lady who treats others with kindness and compassion but keeping her guard around her. She's definitely a strong sort who has a reason for her guard. 

Matthew and Eleanor have history but it takes a while to find out what so I won't spoil that. He's been off, fighting in the War and whilst he's suddenly returned to the village, there is trouble following and he needs help so his feet unconsciously guide him into Eleanors path.

She has a choice. Does she help him and risk herself and her young lodger Freddie or does she leave Matthew to deal with his own issues? She owes him nothing, afterall...
The characters are so believable and their descriptions perfect - enough that I could cast the whole movie were it to be made. It'd make a good musical actually. For me, it was worth pushing past those first couple of chapters. The mystery and intrugue within the pages of this book are very well imagined and written in the end. It did become a page-turner!

Would definitely suit those of you who like a slow build up and plenty of detail as well as the rural and vintage setting. 

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