Monday, June 3, 2013

A Half Forgotten Song by Katherine Webb

Morning, again! I'm also on the TLC tour today for Katherine Webb's latest, A Half Forgotten Song!

I'm a bit short on time so I'm going to cheat and use the synopsis from Goodreads this morning:

1937. In a village on the Dorset coast, fourteen-year-old Mitzy Hatcher has endured a wild and lonely upbringing, until the arrival of renowned artist Charles Aubrey-along with his exotic mistress and their daughters-changes everything. Over the next three summers, Mitzy sees a future she had never thought possible, and a powerful love is kindled in her. A love that grows from innocence to obsession; from childish infatuation to something far more complex. Years later, a young man in an art gallery looks at a hastily-drawn portrait and wonders at its intensity. The questions he asks lead him to a Dorset village and to the truth about those fevered summers in the 1930s.

I was introduced to Webb last year with her release The Unseen. I adored the book and, as is typically the case, went into A Half Forgotten Song with certain expectations as a result. I was not let down!

Oftentimes I hesitate to call something a beach read or a perfect summer read, but I will admit that I associate certain times of year with certain books - generally this is set around an author's/publisher's release schedule. Considering this is the second summer that I've had time to spend with Webb's work, the connection between the season and her books is there. The combination of her elegant writing (and the often hair raising detail) and reading in the summer sun is definitely something I've come to look forward to (as is the case with a few other typical summer release authors).

Webb's writing is so rich and real and her stories are wonderfully textured. I really enjoy the dual timelines of the story and the way Webb uses memory and its unreliability as the heart of this story. In this case, Mitzy has been living with her story for so long, twisting it up and then telling it to Zach in a way that's not entirely true.

All of the detail in the book is carefully woven into the story. I was particularly intrigued by Mitzy and her mother's hedge-witchery. It's not only a fascinating layer to Mitzy's tale but it's also another way that Webb weaves in that sense of time and place - Dorset in the 1930s.

Katherine Webb is the kind of author I would love to see generate a larger audience. I actually can't believe that I missed her debut, The Legacy, and that more folks aren't talking about her work. Readers who enjoy authors like Kate Morton and Susanna Kearsley will love Webb.

To see more stops on the tour, visit the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Katherine Webb and her work, you can follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook. As an added bonus, you can also read an excerpt of A Half Forgotten Song over on Goodreads.

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