Ninepins, by Rosy Thornton
Author: Rosy Thornton
Originally Published: 2012
Format I Read: Paperback
Publisher: Sandstone Press
I received this book for free from the author. All content and opinions are my own.
Rosy Thornton is a well-loved British author. And deservedly so. I thoroughly enjoyed her last novel, The Tapestry of Love. So, when Ms. Thornton contacted me about her newest work, Ninepins I eagerly awaited the package from Royal Mail.
Laura is a single mother to 12-year-old Beth. They live in the Cambridgeshire fens at an old tollhouse known as Ninepins. To bring in extra income, Laura usually rents the pumphouse out to students. This year, though, she’s persuaded by a social worker, Vince, to board 17-year-old Willow, who is leaving foster care.
If I had only two words to describe this book, they would be domestic and subtle. It was very much centered on the day-to-day, on the relationships among the characters. Laura and Beth are forging a new relationship, leaving behind Beth’s childhood. This story line about broke my heart. Likely because my 2-year-old is finding some independence and it’s hard to let go. Laura and Vince’s relationship is very slow and kind of sneaked up on me. And then there is Willow and her mother, Marianne. This is obviously a very nuanced relationship, as Marianne is mentally ill, and Willow was severely neglected as a child.
I enjoyed seeing how these (and other) relationships played out. And the landscape was an interesting character in and of itself. But the book as a whole just didn’t quite come together for me. Perhaps it was because this is a very British book and the landscape and some of the language were unfamiliar to me. But mostly, I think, because it contained small scenes that were interesting but sometimes didn’t feel like they built up to anything. And, really, that is how real life is. I just don’t know how I feel about it in books.
Overall, though, I enjoyed Ninepins and would recommend it as a good, calm read.
Ninepins, by Rosy Thornton [rating:3]
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