Sunday, 4 September 2016

Forgotten Child by Emily Organ - A Book Review

There is always the fear when reading a sequel to a much loved book that it won't live up to the previous one. No danger of that here! Emily Organ re-animates the wonderful characters from Runaway Girl and sends them off on another medieaval adventure.

I was pleased that my favourite character from Runaway Girl had a more prominent part this time. Millicent is a joy; feisty, wise and down to earth, I'd like her to be a much loved aunt of mine. New characters enchanted too - I'd love to be swept off my feet by the dashing Moris de Grey. I imagine him like Clive Mantle in Robin of Sherwood! The whole de Grey family have a more prominent part in this book and they are beautifully drawn and well rounded characters. My benchmark is always 'Can I visualise this character?' and there is no trouble doing that with Emily's writing. She includes enough deatil for me to see them all in my mind's eye. Her ability to describe a part of history I am not very familiar with in such vivid detail that I felt I was there is a rare gift. I was left wanting to know more about Britain in the 14th century and especially the lives of women at that time.

The plot has all the elements of a traditional thriller; a mystery, a secret, a pursuit and a conflict. The determination of Alice Wescott to find out what the secret her husband hid from her and her need to do the right thing even if it puts her in danger make her a compelling heroine. At times I got frustrated with her for being stubborn and leading others into difficult situations but I was always rooting for her. The thrills in this are wonderful. I particularly liked the scene where the party are caught by the tide when crossing to Holy Island - my heart was in my mouth throughout and I worried for them. Beautifully taut and well written, it was impossible not to hold my breath as the water rose around them. I also want to re-visit Holy Island and imagine all Emily's characters around me, striding across the sand dunes or chatting in the cloisters.

At the end of the novel we are teased with the subject of book three - the hunt for the wicked Sir Walter from book one. I for one cannot wait to see how Emily rounds off the trilogy. I just hope Sir Walter gets his just desserts!

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