Top positive review
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Sympathetic Portrayal of Romany Life
on 28 January 2012
This is the second Louise Doughty novel I have read. I reviewed `Whatever you Love' on Amazon last year and still feel a bit guilty about only giving it four stars when it was such a riveting read. For a while I have been meaning to back-track and discover some of her earlier works. I'm glad I did.
Stone Cradle has an altogether different feel about it and I don't think you would particularly connect the authorial styles - a plus, I think, because it's an indicator of a versatile writer. It's not such a page-turner as Whatever you Love, but is nonetheless deeply engrossing. Told from the alternate viewpoints of Clementine and Rose, her `gorger' daughter in law, it ranges across several generations of a Romany family from the nineteenth century up until 1960, but it's quite a step above the family saga type of novel, portraying what feels like an authentic picture of Romany life in and around Peterborough during that period. The characterisation is strong and the setting evocative. After this I will put Doughty on my list of must-read authors. She's a very accessible writer and storyteller but her work is of a high quality. She clearly has a good reputation but deserves to be even more well known.