Hello there. I’ve a few more reviews to share of THE VISITORS, which have appeared in the last week or so online.
Firstly, from Julie Fisher at Bookmunch, a very thoughtful, detailed and well written review. I particularly like the way this reviewer has read the book so carefully. I appreciate her comment too about historical fiction:
‘Historical novels can often fall down when we hear the characters describing the era to us in a false forced manner so that we as the reader can see it clearly when it’s obvious that to them the setting is unremarkable and unworthy of note.’
This was such an interesting comment to me, as I think about this constantly when writing historical fiction. It is such a juggling act, trying to make the narrative believable and yet simultaneously convey the most illuminating and revealing details of the period. This is doubly hard when the narrative is told in the first person. I remember when writing THE VISITORS I had to consider this, and then I realised that Liza is experiencing this world for the first time, once she learns to communicate, and that everything is new to her; just as if we were time-travellers and landed in Edwardian England, that is how the world seems to her! So I was able to describe that world in all its fascination, because that is how she experienced it. So I was very happy to see this reviewer pick up on that fact:
’Here though Adeliza experiences the world at the same time as us so her descriptions are fresh and vivid and Victorian England is portrayed beautifully using all the senses.’
There was also another super review on Fleur in her World book blog. There have been some very interesting comments on that site too, in which I’ve joined discussion – for example, about the real-life deaf-blind woman Laura Bridgman – so check it out here:
Again, this is a detailed and careful review, which is hugely appreciated. This reviewer seemed to engage fully with Adeliza’s voice, which is lovely to hear, as of course if readers don’t like her, then you’re scuppered! Highlights include:
’Adeliza’s voice rang true, and her story spoke so very profoundly about the sheer wonder of being alive, about the capacity to learn and grow, and about the importance of friendship.’
Again, these were issues I often thought of when writing. I wanted to convey that sense of coming to the world anew, so it was great to hear that this had come through in the finished book.
Last but not least, today I found a fantastic little summary of the book on Love Reading, which was so positive I had a tear in my eye when I first read it!
Thanks so much to the Editorial Expert on Love Reading who wrote this little gem: