There’s something about historical fiction that seems to engage me. Here, we’re in 1577 with a political war upon us. Queen Elizabeth I is in power and Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned. Witch Hunters exist, with women burned at the stake for their apparent witchcraft. England is in the middle of a battle between these rival queens, and in the midst of it is our protagonist: Alyce Greenliefe.
As I mentioned before, historical fiction intrigues me. Even though we know what has happened in history, reading someone’s creative take is always fascinating. In this, Bowling takes an interesting turn by focussing on the supernatural side. What if witches did exist? What if witches played a big part in the political war between Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots? Dark and fascinating, Witchborn gives us a different perspective on this time in history.
Stereotypically speaking, being a teenager can be rough. Hormones go crazy, emotions run wild, and everything can feel like the end of the world. Mix that in with a divorce, not speaking to a parent for a number of years, and a once-loved hobby turning into the most-hated task, then you have yourself a young adult ready to fight and rebel. This is exactly what you get at the beginning of this story, but behind the hard and rebellious mask is someone a little bit more complicated.
Nicholas Sparks is a loved author for a reason. Although the description above makes it sound like some stereotypical young adult story, it’s a very well-crafted book with a roller-coaster of emotions from beginning to end. We enter into the life of Ronnie, who is ‘forced’ to stay with her father over the summer break. Obviously, this is the worst thing since, like, ever. As we strap ourselves in, we realise just how complicated Ronnie is, and that we really can’t judge a book by its cover.
Having a family is not an uncommon dream. To have your own child in your arms and to grow as a small community with memories, stories and love is something to cherish. It’s not for everyone, so some people choose to not take that road. For some, it’s not a choice. For some, it’s an unfortunate situation of genetics, hormones and other biological factors that stops the dream from becoming a reality. Sing You Home takes us on a journey of pain, desire and unconditional love, with an unborn child stuck in the middle of the concept of a traditional family and a person’s lifelong dream.
This story is a rollercoaster. Right from the beginning, our hearts are broken just as Zoe’s, one of the main characters, is when she loses her unborn baby. Then, her marriage breaks down and emotions run high. Max, the ex-husband, goes back to drinking and nearly dies, finding Jesus in his near-death experience. And then there’s Vanessa, a school counsellor with her own interesting story, who provides Zoe with the comfort and love that she needs. You have these three complicated characters, so you better be ready for the emotions you’ll feel reading this book.
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.