I’m absolutely delighted to host a stop on the blog tour The Stranger by Kate Riordan today! My thanks to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for the invitation and the beautiful review copy!
Author : Kate Riordan
Title : The Stranger
Pages : 320
Publisher : Michael Joseph / Penguin
Publication date : March 22, 2018
In the hushed hours of the night a woman is taken by the sea.
Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?
In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.
Each is looking to escape her past.
But one of them is not there by choice.
As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.
And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .
In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?
Oh, what a wonderful novel this is. This is one of those stories that remind me why I love this genre as much as I do. As soon as I started reading, I knew I was in for a treat and I quickly found myself utterly immersed.
In 1940’S Cornwall, the war still seems to be pretty far off. Three women arrive at Penhallow Hall. Eleanor and her mother have opened the doors of their house to Rose, Diana and Jane who will work there as Land Girls, planting and growing vegetables to help out in the war effort. But tricky pasts and secrets will lead to a dramatic conclusion and their lives will be changed forever.
This story oozes atmosphere and has a fantastic cast of complex characters that you’ll either root for or want to slap in the face. Especially Diana Devlin, whom I accidentally kept calling devil in my head, which seemed rather apt at times. She’s quite the troubled young lady with a disturbing past and she’s bored. So very, very bored. Her need to liven things up just a little bit may just have consequences for innocent bystanders. Rose spent a glorious summer in Cornwall when she was sixteen. For various reasons, that period in her life has always stayed with her. Can she possibly recapture the spirit of the girl she used to be?
There’s a threatening, almost claustrophobic vibe haunting the rooms of Penhallow Hall, that feeling of something not being quite right. I found that to be the perfect contrast with the glorious descriptions of the Cornwall landscape. Kate Riordan’s writing is incredibly beautiful and pulled me right in. I could hear and smell the ocean, feel the sun beating down on my back and if Cornwall wasn’t already on my list of places to visit one day, it sure would be now.
From the first chapter, it’s obvious a mystery needs to be solved but as it turns out, that’s not the only one. I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping story of first loves, loss and grief, secrets and family. This is only the second novel I’ve read by Kate Riordan and it has left me wanting more so I’ll be catching up on her other books and very much look forward to whatever she comes up with next!
The Stranger is available for purchase!
Kate Riordan is a British writer and journalist. After working on staff at the Guardian and Time Out London, she left the capital and moved to the Cotswolds in order to concentrate on writing novels. Published by Penguin, HarperCollins and Heyne, she’s currently writing her fifth book.