A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor
A lonely and imaginative child, Julia loves her family’s beautiful and wild Cornish home with all her heart. But, marked by dark troubles, she enters her adult years determined to leave and seek a new beginning in London. It’s there she meets the handsome David. They fall in love, but when Julia becomes pregnant, even he can’t stop the terrible echoes of the past from ringing in her ears. The only sound to be heard above the noise is the old Cornish house, calling her home . . .
For Julia’s adult children, Alex and Johnnie, the house hides the history of their family within its walls. For Alex, it is full of memories of her late mother. For Johnnie, it is the house that should have been rightfully theirs after Julia died but has been stolen from them instead. With their father now lying in a hospital bed, time is running out for Alex and Johnnie to uncover the secrets of what happened to their mother all those years ago. Can they discover the truth before the house closes its doors to them forever?
I have read some of Taylor’s books before and I have really enjoyed them so I was excited to get reading this.
There are two storylines within this book, the past and present, and I will admit I struggled at times when reading the past. The past follows the life of Julia and rather cleverly her life is running parallel with Princess Diana’s who also features in the book because Julia’s husband David works in the palace for Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
I will be honest this book made me angry because Julia really needed help. She was let down by doctors and those closest to her and that made me really angry and upset but I realise that is what Taylor was aiming for and Taylor had obviously done a significant amount of research into Julia’s condition which the reader only really finds out about at the end of the book.
Alex and Johnnie, Julia’s children are now grown and have children of their own and problems of their own. Johnnie got on my nerves slightly because I found him rather selfish and unfair to his wife. Alex was my favourite character, she was full of feeling and worked hard with her business and was just a lovely character to follow.
Mundo was my least favourite, he was definitely wrong and rather unbelievable to be honest. Sally was a character who my opinion changed on, on more than one occasion but I won’t say more.
I was a little disappointed about the detail in the book as I would have liked a bit more description regarding Tawray the house as usually Taylor is bang on with her descriptions. Overall, I enjoyed the book but I did struggle with it at times and it left me feeling rather sad. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Lulu was brought up in the Oxfordshire countryside, attended a girls’ school and then went to Oxford University, where she read English Literature. After university, she worked in publishing for several years, before becoming a novelist.