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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars subtly menacing
This is a lovely read, quite difficult to categorize in a way, its a gentle romance but not slushy or sleazy in any way. It's character driven and the characters are extremely well drawn and realistic. There is a subtle tension which runs through it although I wouldn't class it as a thriller as such but there is certainly an air of suspense which builds throughout the...
Published on 22 April 2012 by Beadyjan

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So so
The scenery seems to overcome the characters in a book that was only ever heading one way. Enjoyable to read and thought provoking in parts, but not a book I'll remember for a long time.
Published 19 months ago by Darwynsdream


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars subtly menacing, 22 April 2012
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This review is from: Ninepins (Paperback)
This is a lovely read, quite difficult to categorize in a way, its a gentle romance but not slushy or sleazy in any way. It's character driven and the characters are extremely well drawn and realistic. There is a subtle tension which runs through it although I wouldn't class it as a thriller as such but there is certainly an air of suspense which builds throughout the unfolding story and the wonderful bleak, misty and menacing setting of the Cambridgeshire Fens, is so well painted that I felt I'd just spent some time there despite never having set foot in that area in my life!

Mostly this is a story about motherhood, womanhood, female relationships and adapting to change and will appeal to a wide range of readers although especially Mums with teenage daughters.
The Mum in the story, Laura, is a divorced single Mother to Beth, 12 years old, who is riddled with pre teen angst, puberty and asthma. Her struggles to fit in, avoid being bullied and attempts to be one of the in crowd, mirror her Mums struggles to say and do the right things to her daughter and often end up making cringingly awful yet minor mistakes which alienate rather than support.
It took me right back to my early teen years!

Into their lives floats Willow, a teenager in care with a bit of a past at 17 young enough to be a friend to Beth, but will her influence be a good one and when she becomes a tenant of the small pump house cottage owned by Laura bringing her social worker Vince, and her own teenage insecurities into their lives what repercussions will this have.

Rosy Thornton is a highly accomplished author, drawing on her own experiences and her skills with words to create an environment we instantly feel at home in and characters we feel we know even though they might not be ones we can completely relate to.
If you enjoy beautifully constructed descriptions, characters created with finesse and skill and a story which builds to a satisfactory climax you should enjoy this latest offering from Rosy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent read from Rosy Thornton, 21 April 2012
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ninepins (Paperback)
Ninepins was published on 19 April 2012 and is Rosy's fifth novel, and her first to be published by Sandstone Press.

The story is set in the Cambridgeshire Fens, and the Ninepins of the title is home to single-mother Laura and her 12 year old daughter Beth. Laura and Beth have been alone since Beth's father Simon left when she was just a small baby. Laura earns a little extra income by renting out the pumphouse in her garden as student accommodation. Her latest tenant is 17 year old Willow, a care-leaver with something of a mysterious past.

Rosy Thornton is expert at creating a real sense of place with her words, the vast and desolate, yet beautiful Fens of Cambridgeshire are brought to life in this story, the reader can almost feel the chill and the damp air when reading her description of the landscape.
Descriptive scenery however, are not her only gift; her creation of three very different, yet extremely strong female characters is excellent. Laura, Beth and Willow; the adult, the teen and the child are the perfect cast of characters to play out what is often a fairly tense story. Beth's anguish as she starts secondary school and encounters the 'politics' of pre-pubescent girls is at times heart-breaking, and although it is well over 30 years since I experienced those feelings myself Rosy's writing really did bring some quite harsh memories back. Beth's internal battles with herself - whether to appear 'cool' to her new peers or to obey her mother Laura are so so real, as are Laura's feelings when she realises that her little girl is growing up and no longer is she the centre of her world.
Add Willow, with her vulnerability covered by harsh words to this mix and Rosy Thornton has served up a novel with many themes.
I enjoyed Ninepins very much, it is very different in style to The Tapestry of Love, showing the diversity of Rosy Thornton's writing ability.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So so, 12 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Ninepins (Kindle Edition)
The scenery seems to overcome the characters in a book that was only ever heading one way. Enjoyable to read and thought provoking in parts, but not a book I'll remember for a long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully moving novel, rooted in a harsh yet beautiful landscape, 19 Nov 2012
By 
Bryher (Surrey, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ninepins (Paperback)
This novel is set in a majestic and wholly believable fenland landscape, and concerns Laura and her daughter Beth, who live in a unique situation next to a lode. Part of the property is a separate building, a pump house, which Laura lets out. Their latest tenant is Willow, an enigmatic care leaver with a chaotic past, who under the eye of her social worker Vince is taking a first step towards independent living.

Rosy Thornton, as ever, displays what a beautiful writer she is, and how well she reveals the inner life of her characters. Once again, she writes of women (and I include the 12 year old Beth in this) who are negotiating change in their lives with resilience and courage. At the same time, the reality of growing up with all its angst, feeling the temptation to be cool, and experiencing the unique brand of cruelty that young girls mete out to one another, are described with perception and precision. Even as she appears trailing mystery and slight menace, I found myself rooting for the 17 year old Willow. It is obvious how much Thornton empathises with her young characters and as a result makes them so believable. She also manages to avoid a stereotype with a credible scenario of social care, in Vince, Willow's social worker, getting it right, getting it wrong, but doing his best to embody a figure of trust after an ambiguous start.

As with her previous novel <i>The Tapestry Of Love</i>, the landscape is pretty well a character in its own right. Lovingly yet fearlessly described, the fens formed a visible backdrop in my mind's eye as I read the novel, sometimes taking centre stage, as when the waters that are kept in check with such difficulty rise up and flood the pump house. Laura's deep love for this rebarbative countryside, with its enormous sky and straight lines, makes her decision to continue living in such isolation all of a piece with her undoubted strength of character.

Rosy Thornton explores the sacrificial and the civilised in family breakdown. Her writing goes from strength to strength, and, while this novel moves into darker territory of mental illness and the pain of growing up in chaos, she reminds us of the bonds of love that can bind us and how much there can be left over to share.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, 11 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Ninepins (Kindle Edition)
I bought this as a deal of the day book. It was well written but didn't really engage my interest. It was a bit predictable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, 19 Feb 2013
By 
L. K. Owen "Book fan" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ninepins (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book because I thought it sounded quite interesting; a young girl appears with a dark, murky past. I kept reading and reading and to be honest, I skipped quite a few pages because I kept expecting something to happen. This book didn't really do it for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange book, 10 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Ninepins (Kindle Edition)
This is a really strange book in which nothing really happens, except right at the end. It's not a book that I could wholeheartedly recommend as a really good read, but it was OK if you have nothing better to do. The write ups seemed to promise more than it delivered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flat, 22 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Ninepins (Kindle Edition)
Some nice exchanges of dialogue but really rather a flat plotline. Didn't really get involved in the story or empathise with the characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mothers and daughters, 15 Jan 2013
By 
C. Bannister (Jersey, CI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ninepins (Kindle Edition)
Ninepins is set in the fens where Laura a divorcee lives with her twelve year old daughter Beth. Willow who is now seventeen needs somewhere to live after spending the last four years in care and rents the 'pumphouse' from Laura with the support from her Social Worker Vince.

The story that follows is billed as having the tension of a thriller; I'm not sure this is the really the case, to me it is mainly about an anxious mother learning to let her daughter grow up. Laura comes across as a sympathetic, if a little fussy, character but Willow and Beth remain a little more indistinct.

This book about relationships has them all, the mothers and daughters, ex-husbands, pets and budding romances are all there to be explored in this book. An easy comfortable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure..., 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Ninepins (Kindle Edition)
Bought this in the 99p daily deal; it was OK, but nothing special. I could not empathise with any of the characters.
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Ninepins
Ninepins by Rosy Thornton (Paperback - 16 April 2012)
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