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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, bittersweet and funny
It's impossible not to ache for the hero and heroine in this stunning novel. In a classic can't-live-with-him-can't-live-without-him situation - but with a heartrending extra dimension in Magnus's PTSD - Fay and Magnus have been the saving of each other, literally and metaphorically, yet life together seems impossible. Fay has divorced Magnus, unable to cope with the very...
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by GilPhil

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not her best
I must admit as far as Linda Gillard books go I found this one a little to predictable. I guessed early on at the main twist in the tale, although there were also certain bits I didn't guess at. I generally liked the characters. At least I liked Fay well enough, but I liked her (ex)mother-in-law the most and would actually have liked to see more of her. I didn't really...
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by Lucybird


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, bittersweet and funny, 9 Sep 2011
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This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
It's impossible not to ache for the hero and heroine in this stunning novel. In a classic can't-live-with-him-can't-live-without-him situation - but with a heartrending extra dimension in Magnus's PTSD - Fay and Magnus have been the saving of each other, literally and metaphorically, yet life together seems impossible. Fay has divorced Magnus, unable to cope with the very thing that has restored his sanity after being invalided out of the army: Tullibardine Tower, a ruin he has devoted all his energy to restoring.

Magnus is a magnificent hero: courageous, troubled, vulnerable and impulsive (all my favourites). His struggles with PTSD - the nightmares, the flashbacks, the hallucinations and the paranoia - only serve to make him more humanly heroic. Fay is gutsy, intelligent, and no pushover: I loved her preparations for the trauma that is Magnus's engagement party to another woman. And she has a terrific sense of humour: there is one passage, told in the first person by Fay, that made me genuinely laugh out loud. There was nothing I wanted more than to see these two damaged people back together; yet I didn't see how it was possible.

Linda Gillard does not shy away from difficult subjects, and Magnus does something to Fay that makes the reader reel; yet for all his faults, I never once stopped liking him. The denouement is absolutely gripping.

I'm not one of those who has lost faith in traditional publishing - which makes me all the more bewildered that this brave, timely novel did not find a home with a big publishing house. Come on, somebody: grab it. It's not too late.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant story, 7 Sep 2011
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Nicola in South Yorkshire "nicola_in_southyorks" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
How does Linda Gillard do it? She writes such easy to read books, that flow and are never ever a chore to read, and yet they contain so much emotion and such depth to the story and characterisations.

This latest offering is about Fay and Magnus, a couple who divorced but never fell out of love with each other. Fay works with textiles, making what sound like some wonderful pieces, and Magnus is an ex-army man with PTSD. They're interesting characters in their own right, but put together they become even more intriguing as their love story is revealed. Added to the mix is Tullibardine Tower, a ruined castle that Magnus has taken on and renovated as a labour of love.

There are very few supporting characters in this book, because they are not needed, but I did particularly like Jessie, Magnus's mother.

This is another beautifully written book by one of my favourite authors. I feel that Linda Gillard gets to the very heart of what her characters are about, and their feelings.

I can't wait for her next book, whether it be self-published on Kindle or if a publisher actually takes a chance on a unique and brilliant writer. Publishers, you're missing out, but thankfully we, the readers, are not anymore!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another superb book from a very talented novelist., 1 Sep 2011
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Jenny Woodall (Sheffield, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
Having read three of Linda's previous novels in virtually one sitting, I've eagerly awaited the release of this, her fifth novel, and it didn't disappoint. Magnus and Fay's story will resonate with anyone who's lost the love of their life for whatever reason. Linda's wonderful characterization makes you feel their pain, their hope, and most of all their unwavering love for each other. Be warned: It's an emotional rollercoaster that had me reaching for the tissues before I'd reached halfway. By the last page I was wiping away the tears with a smile. If you only read one book this year, YOU MUST READ THIS ONE.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and compelling, 6 Sep 2011
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This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
This is my 3rd book by Linda Gillard, and once again it is a triumph! Linda excels at creating a world and characters that draw you in so thoroughly you don't feel like you are reading a book, you are immersed in their lives, it's not a character, it's a friend telling you their story!
Once again, it's an entirely different type of book than her others too, you certainly can't fit Linda in a box, but I think that's where her strengths lie!
And also, once again, an entirely different hero to those we've had before! In House of Silence I was attracted to Marek straight away, and that attraction grew as the story progressed, in Star Gazing's Keir, I fell in love at first sight like a star struck teenager, but with Untying the Knot, I was drawn to Magnus, I was intrigued by this interesting and damaged man, and initially wanted to know more of him, before ultimately wanting to be there for him, to try and heal him in some way, almost maternally! At the same time, rooting for him and Fay to sort themselves out!
I was completely gripped by the story, so much so I very much begrudged the arrival of 3 o'clock, school run time, and had to tear myself away to go fetch my son, and was back into it as soon as I could on my return!
Highly recommend this one, it will stay with me for a very long time! My only gripe was it ended far too soon!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down!, 2 Sep 2011
This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
Oh my word! What a wonderful atmospheric book this is, I had eagerly awaited this book from Linda having read several of her other books and this one I feel is the best. I could "see" the characters the scenery and the castle. The story flows well and is told in such a gripping way so everything else takes second place! You have to keep reading to find out what happens next. Buy it, read it, enjoy it I know you will.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Untying the Knot, 9 Sep 2011
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This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
Untying the Knot by Linda Gillard
A Review by Judith Arnopp

I was drawn to this book via a posting on Linda Gillard's Facebook page. I downloaded the free sample first and began to read it while I ate my toast at lunchtime. By the time my coffee was cold I was so into the story that I downloaded the rest straight away.
Initially, I found the structure a bit distracting but once I got the hang of it and the story had its claws into me, I didn't give it another thought. The whole thing could do with a bit of formatting as some parts of the narrative, the differing points of view etc. run into each other but I think that is down to the upload to kindle, I had similar problems uploading my own novels.
But, all that aside, I couldn't put Untying the Knot down. I spent two days with my nose pressed to my pc screen (note to self: must get a Kindle a.s.a.p).
All the characters are totally convincing, no cliches, no cardboard people. Jessie, Emily, Magnus and Fay are very human and their troubles seem so insurmountable that I routed for them from start to finish. Apart from Nina whom I disliked intensely although the poor girl did nothing wrong, I was just jealous on Fay's behalf.
They are the sort of people you pass everyday on the street. Ordinary enough looking on the surface but a turmoil of emotion beneath.
This book triggered all my emotions, it made me angry, made me sad, made me remember the hopelessness of lost love, the despair of divorce and the sickening hope and passion of reconciliation. When things really take off at the engagement party you will not be able to turn the pages fast enough so make sure you have enough time to really enjoy it.
If you like first-rate writing, a strong plot, competent editing and a marvellous ending, this one is for you. The only reason I have only given it four stars is for the formatting and structure issues I noted earlier but take no notice, they are easily remedied ...it is well worth a read.
I'm off to search for Linda's other work now and when I have found them I will lock all my doors and take the phone off the hook until I've finished.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a corker!! :), 1 Sep 2011
By 
B. Robinson "Wyres" (Lancs, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
What a corker!! I could wax lyrical about this novel but I won't go on. This is a story that engages you from the very first page until the last, so much so that my work suffered today but that's another story. Linda Gillard certainly knows how to tell a good yarn or two and this certainly fits the bill. The relationship between Magnus and Fay keeps you thinking will they or won't they get back together as the story unfolds, for that you're going to have to read the book as I'm not going to spoil it for you. Well written with engaging characters and lots of depth to the story.

Have a tissue or two to hand as you'll need them at least once. The only thing that was missing was the smell of paper as I prefer tree books to ebooks but if it's the only way to enjoy her books then I'm happy to make that sacrifice. It's the Publishers that are missing out as Linda Gillard has a very loyal fan base who wait with baited breath for her next novel.

Do please read it as you'll have missed out if you don't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wondeful! An emotional rollercoaster!, 3 Nov 2012
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Molyneux (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
This is the first book I read on my new Kindle - I was eager to read this one after having read Linda's earlier novels. I wasn't disappointed and quickly became engrossed in both the storyline and the characters. So much that I had to stop every now and then because I became so involved with the main characters I found it emotionally exhausting!! I love Fay and how she deals with what life has thrown at her - and felt like slapping Magnus! - as likeable as he is! I think he is now my favourite of Linda's heroes (I was previously inlove with Rory from A Lifetime Burning!) The imagery of the textiles and how the lives of those who touched Fay were somehow recorded in her work...just beautiful! Linda is a very talented author and a firm favourite of mine. I absolutely LOVED this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph, 6 Nov 2011
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I'm working my way through Linda Gillard's books, this is the fourth that I've read and she just gets better and better!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight from cover to cover, 26 Sep 2011
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This review is from: UNTYING THE KNOT (Kindle Edition)
First off, I'll come clean and admit that I've been a diehard Linda Gillard fan ever since discovering her through her earlier book 'Star Gazing'. So I knew that 'Untying The Knot' was going to be a treat. But in fact it not only lived up to my expectations, I think in a lot of ways this is her best novel so far.

Personally I know next to nothing about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), but this side to the novel seemed faultlessly researched, and enough facts were slipped into the story that I felt I had learned something meaningful. Magnus, the hero (literally) of the book, was in bomb disposal, and has seen things that he can never forget. His ex-wife Fay is obviously very affected by his experiences and their lasting repurcussions, as we discover as the story progresses.

Their relationship is a complex one, but one that seemed very real. Linda's writing stlye is subtle and yet powerful, so that you feel what the characters are feeling through what seems like effortless description and dialogue. The peripheral characters (prospective son-in-law Rick, ex-mother-in-law Jessie, incorrigible divorcee Morag, etc) all add something to the story, and offer necessary humour and insights into the lives of Fay and Magnus.

One of Linda's real talents lies in characterisation. All her characters jump off the page, and in the case of Untying The Knot in particular, I know Magnus and Fay will follow me around in the back of my mind for a long while yet. I'd very definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an unconventional and thoughtful love story that will make you smile through your tears.

If you enjoyed Untying The Knot and are looking for more of Linda's books to devour, then my other personal favourites are Star Gazing (most like this novel in tone, in my opinion) and Emotional Geology. House Of Silence, the book before this one, is also a real treat, and has several similar themes.
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Untying the Knot
Untying the Knot by Linda Gillard (Paperback - 24 Jun 2013)
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