A Place for Us – London, Bath, Paris, Florence – Harriet Evans

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Why a booktrail?

Welcome to Winterfold, a fictional town in England but one you can visit with this tale of a secret hidden in the past…..

Story in a nutshell

Ooh a secret that comes out after 80 or so years…….An old woman who has kept this secret is finally ready to tell it and so she calls her family to the home in Winterfold (apparently somewhere near Bath) and a secret that could ruin the idyllic life she and her husband David have spent over fifty years building…

But she has to let her family know what she and David have sacrificed. She can’t live a lie any more.

The pretty house in the countryside is the setting for the secret reveal but what will happen once things are out in the open? will the peace and tranquility be shattered for ever?

Place and setting

 slade school of art http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade The national gallery - http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/ Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
 chapel market - where david walks past and eats an apple thinking of how he got out of a bad situation The Lyons corner house at marble arch where david sits to meet someone Stonehenge - Cat and Luke visit here  winterstoke - an old area in somerset bath denoting old feudal and tax boundaries  Florence - Via Dei Sapiti Rue de Charonne in Paris

LONDON – slade school of art http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade
The national gallery – http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/

chapel market – where david walks past and eats an apple thinking of how he got out of a bad situation
The Lyons corner house at marble arch where david sits to meet someone
BATH – Stonehenge – Cat and Luke visit here
BATH  – winterstoke – an old area in somerset bath denoting old feudal and tax boundaries
Florence – Via Dei Sapiti
Rue de Charonne in Paris

The setting is a time gone by – a peaceful ramshackle house deep in the English countryside where the scent of wisteria climbing up the walls floats alongside the aroma of something being baked within. gingerbread covered hands wiped on tea towels then someone comes to the beautifully painted door opening to let you in. Only when you get inside, and meet your mother, she sits you down and tells you the truth, shattering everything you believed in in the process….

The settings come to life in the snippets learned from flashbacks –

Husband David – David was just a young boy living in London during WW2. some of the most fascinating scenes are set here and the life of the young man in such a turbulent time is captivating as well as being vital to understand later on in the book.

He met Martha at the Slade School of Art and wonders what would have happened if he had not met her that day. She had saved him and that is something he is sure about.

Florence – Daughter Florence is an academic/Professor of art and lives in – Florence in the via dei Sapiti! Her lack of social skills and awkwardness is endearing compared to others in the family.

Paris – Cat spends a lot of time in Paris and eats at the Abesses and at the Bar Georges on the Rue De Charonne. Ambling through life as indeed she does through the streets of Paris.

Bookish thoughts

Originally posted in four parts like a serial read, I would think each part would make you read the next so it would be easier to read all in one volume such as this one. I would think that a  book format rather than an ebook would be better as in the earlier part, each chapter flits from one character to the next and I often had to check back.

The story is in the form of a saga and I just love it when old people give up their secrets and reveal something to their children years later. Many of my favourite reads involve such a scenario and so I was enthralled from the get go. Despite a slow start, the tension and intrigue do build and I was really wanting to know what happened but also not sure that I did – as if I was one of the family.

Tell you what though, despite the darkness behind the facade, living in Winterfold sounds very nice indeed.  A family saga that spans time periods, war and peace, london and italy and a range of characters with secrets and histories of their own if Harriet ever decides to branch out and explore this more.

Which I hope she does.

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