The Smile Paperback – 25 Feb 2009
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Stunning first novel. A compelling mystery and atmospheric love story, which moves at intriguing pace across Europe: concluding spectacularly, in a mystical Venice.
About the Author
Ginny was brought up in the Cotswolds and educated in England. She spent a year working in the U.S.A, before travelling extensively throughout America, Canada and Mexico. A water-colourist, after leaving school, Ginny attended the Warwickshire College of art, and, more recently, studied both at West Dean College and in Italy. She exhibited, successfully, in the West End of London. Ginny brought up a large, boisterous, family of four, based in London and in Sussex; in an old farmhouse, down a long, rough, track, in the middle of a large, derelict, plum orchard. Here, a few years ago, Ginny put aside her paints and started to write. She enrolled for an Arvon writing course: it was winter and freezing cold, but taught by two well-published authors, she was filled with enthusiasm and given endless encouragement. In the beautiful, frosted, Devonshire countryside, she learnt how to polish and finish her manuscripts. Passionate about travelling, particularly across Europe, either by car, train, or even by foot, she takes every opportunity, either alone or on business with her husband, to gather information and material, as she did when painting watercolours. Ginny loves being surrounded by her noisy family. But, whenever possible, retreats to a refuge in the Alps, where she likes best to join the eagles, high up in the mountains, free from ordinary, mundane, matters and from where she can view the world from another dimension. There, she finds her inspiration for the stories she has to tell.
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If I were to be critical I would say that I thought it took too long to get to the "meat" of the story. However the interval in getting to the "meat" was a wonderfully graphic description of island life which one tends to forget about when you live in a huge urban metropolis. For me it brought back forgotten childhood memories.
The author has a wonderful way with words and I am still smiling at her description of a stay in a Scottish hotel with its lumpy beds and restaurant with couples who don't speak to each other throughout the meal - I think I must have stayed there.
The story itself has twists and turns making it difficult to predict what happens next...but of course it does have a happy ending.
I look forward to the authors' next novel "Under the Olives"
I read The Smile from cover to cover in about 4 days whilst on holiday on the French Riviera.
I'm hoping that Ginny will finish her next book, 'Under The Olives', before my next summer holiday.
It has a happy ending and the book is aptly named The Smile, I look forward to Ginny Vere Nicoll's next novel with interest.