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20 January 2016

Review: A Gown of Thorns by Natalie Meg Evans

Shauna Vincent, a graduate from the north of England, has just learned that the job she set her heart on has gone to a socially well-connected rival. Devastated, she accepts an offer in France from an old family friend - to be au pair to the woman's grandchildren.

Within a week, Shauna is deep in the Dordogne. With little to do other than organise her two charges' busy social diaries, she has endless hours in which to explore the magical landscape that surrounds her. Her new home is the ancient Chateau de Chemignac with its vineyards and hidden secrets, including a locked tower room where she unearths a trove of vintage gowns, one of which feels unsettlingly familiar.

Then Shauna falls asleep one afternoon in a valley full of birdsong, and has a strange dream of a vintage aircraft circling threateningly overhead. So when she suddenly awakes to find charming local landowner Laurent de Chemignac standing over her - Shauna wonders if the dashing aristocrat might be just the person to help her untangle this unexpected message from the past.

Source: NetGalley Request

5 Words: Wine, summer, war, family, secrets.

This was a pretty easy-going story, with a split timeline offering two intriguing stories that come together at the end with a slightly predictable twist.

I loved that the main character was a scientist, and how she could hold her own. In fact, pretty much every female character in this book was smart and savvy, with strengths and weaknesses a hidden little secrets that have them an extra dimension and really brought them to life - even the side characters.

What I didn't understand were Rachel's motives. I just couldn't stop myself wondering Why? every time she did something downright vindictive for pretty much no reason. Jealousy? I guess it could have been, but if it was that was one hideous monster.

I liked the slightly fantastical element to the story and how the two main characters, being scientifically minded, questioned it. But it did feel like they gave up their questioning and just went with it a bit prematurely.

This book would be best enjoyed with a nice glass of wine on a long summer evening.

I received a copy of this for free via NetGalley for review purposes. 

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