The Curiosity Cabinet
It is also the story of Henrietta, a 17th century woman, kidnapped and held captive on Garve.
Two of my friends have mentioned how much they ...more
"The island is full of flowers. Ashore, Alys knows that honeysuckle will clutter the hedgerows like clotted cream, weaving a dense tapestry with marching lines of purple foxgloves. Earlier in the year there would have been clumps of thrift, a wild rock garden defining all the bays. Later, meadowsweet will fill the hedges and ditches. But now there will be pink roses and ye...more
A slow start for me, and although this love story is a slow burn in most aspects, it caught me in a powerful grip around a third of the way through.
An evocative background in the Isle of Garve, and the story of two very different women; both of whom come to love not only the island itself, but the men who are so much a part of its rugged landscape and its desolate, cruel beauty. Alys, a modern single parent, falls for an old childhood friend in Donal when she re-visits the islan ...more
audio performance by Carolyn Bonnyman
The cabinet of the title is a 300 year old embroidered chest. From the description, it sounded like an exquisitely decorated sewing basket with some equally fascinating contents. The basket serves as a loose link to the stories of two women on a fictional Hebridean island. There are two, parallel, love stories, one contemporary and one historical. A few circumstantial similarities link the two female protagonists, ...more
Catherine Czerkawska's tale of a recent widow and her mysterious connection to a 17th-century portrait of a young girl.
With Grace Glover, Mary Riggans, John Sheddon and Stella Forge.
A good read, nothing like some old fashioned historical fiction to recover from a heavy going previous read! On that basis 4*, kept m ...more
I need to come back with a more considered review, perhaps - all I can say at this stage is that I've had this on my Kindle app for a little while, I started reading it on a short train journey this morning, and found it so captivating that I couldn't wait for the journey home to read it some more. Then, since I've got home I've neglected my domestic duties to read it to the end. I just couldn't put it down.
The cabinet in question is on display in a hotel on Garve - one of Scotland’s more remote islands where Gaelic is still spoken and the distant past still feels relatively recent. No one knows where the cabinet and its intriguing contents have come from, but Alys - desperately looking for tranquility whil ...more
On the face of it The Curiosity Cabinet is actually two stories. One set in present-day Scotland following Alys, a woman with a young son who returns to the island where she used to spend holidays as a young child. The other half of the book is set on ...more
This well written novel contains dual stories about two very different couples tied together by a single place. Both contemporary and historical, the scene is (mostly) set on one of Scotland's sparsely populated outer islands. This is not one of your run-of-the-mill Scottish highlander romances, with poorly written brogue dialect passing as dialogue; rather it contains bits of Gaelic poetry that sings. Read this book. I think you will be enthralled.
Strange thing is that I felt like I've read this book. It was published in 2005, so it's hard to believe I would so completely forget about it, but the story was so familiar it was a bit odd reading it.
After reading the first few chapters I realized this book really wasn't for me. It is not badly written at all and the characters were all right, it's just that I don't enjoy reading books such as this one.
I was about to give the book one star but since it's a mistake on my part (for picking up the book in the first place) I think I will give it a two-star rating;)
I love the way Czerkawska puts a sentence together. I was stuck several times by the sheer beauty of her writing. I would deem this a must-read for anyone who loves both historical romance and adventure in faraway places.
We have done the tatties years ago and it is backbreaking!
Fabulous love story best I have read in a long time!
I swear I could smell the smells in the book
I enjoyed the characters and enjoyed the descriptions of the setting. The ending has no big surprises, but is satisfying none the less.