Sunday, 6 November 2016
The Secret of the Journal
I would never describe myself as a completist. Once I start a series - books, box sets etc. I don't feel I MUST finish it at all costs. In fact, I don't feel that I have to finish a book if it doesn't grab me. Life is too short. It is ok to do that because CS Lewis said so. Yet sometimes you just fall in love don't you and you need to read all the books or watch all the telly. Witness Harry Potter, The West Wing, The Hawk and the Dove, the Great British Bake Off etc etc. The latest addition to my "must finish" is the series of books called "The Secret of the Journal."
I'm not really sure how to describe these books really, they aren't like anything I have read before. So far so not very inspiring review wise. But I am having a go at telling you about them anyway. Part romance (quite hot romance as well), part historical novel, part science fiction, part thriller and with faith woven in and out of it all. That should describe it enough for you. No?
Well, being careful about spoilers - Emma D'Eresby - a Cambridge Academic travels to Maine in search of a Seventeenth-century journal. Working at college, she comes across the lovely Dr Matthew Lynes and - well you know. Except we don't, because Dr Lynes isn't what we all suppose he is. When we discover his secret, it takes the novel to a different place completely and a sense of menace and secrecy and general spooky wooey-ooeyness takes over.
Having said that I don't hang around unless something really grabs me, I sort of made an exception for this. When I started reading the series, I didn't quite get it at first and I struggled to understand the characters. However, I wanted to stay with it and by the time Matthew's secret is discovered, I was hooked (Warning - you have to go right to the end of the first book to find out properly - although you may suspect before then)
They are a rattling good read. To enjoy them properly, you will need to suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride. There is, however, a real heart to the stories and I did really care about the characters. There is a section - sort of towards the end (trying really hard not to spoil anything) where Emma - older and wearier - fights to create a life for herself and her family. I was so worried for her at this point - it surprised me how involved I was. These books are good, chums. Enjoyed - a lot.
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