Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” as Want to Read:
The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  25 reviews
From the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between, this love story takes the reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s lain hidden for generations.

To satisfy her wandering feet, eighteen-year-old Gillian McAllister is sent from Ireland to Canada in the summer of 1932. She arrives with her Irish ways intact, determ
Paperback, 338 pages
Published April 23rd 2015 by Light Messages Publishing (first published April 16th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  71 ratings  ·  25 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Light Messages Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Top Books of 2015!

THE PARTICULAR APPEAL OF GILLIAN PUGSLEY by Susan Ornbratt, an unveiling, a mystery of one woman's past—a beautiful love story, a journey across time, oceans, and war; written with stunning imagery and poetic prose, for a mesmerizing timeless work of art.

From the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between, this love story takes the re
Caitlin Hicks
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley
By Susan Ornbratt

The premise of this book attracted me – a story of lost love, a multi-generational secret. I opened the first page and felt relief with the recognition that I was in the good hands of a good writer.

The story begins in 2003 – a grandmother has been diagnosed with cancer that will surely take her life. But she has a story and secrets to tell before she dies and a granddaughter, also ‘Gilly’ who is a writer. So Gillian begins to reveal this
Elizabeth Turnbull
Readers will find themselves borrowing more than one of the witty Gillianisms that Susan Ornbratt dreams up in this beautifully written, evocative love story.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book with the long title, don't let that scare you off like it almost did me. The cover is what grabbed my attention and the blurb just glitched it. A weird quirk of mine is location. When I saw Bruce Peninsula, the Great Lakes and Tobermory I was sold, these are my stomping grounds.

Gillian spent the next several days trying to imagine why on earth Daddy would want her to go to Canada of all places. She needed to let the idea soak in. Honestly, she was furious with the man. India sounded so
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Rating 3.5

It’s such a strange phenomenon with writers, the way a story starts to breathe life, the way the characters become real, the way a writer becomes a servant to the story as much as its creator.

A grandmother and a granddaughter relationship can have a life of its own. Such is the case in this descriptive witty prose of Gillian and Gilly. Gillian is sharing her life to her granddaughter who is a writer thru her poems of her time during the war and her life in the Great Lakes area of Canad
Debra Schoenberger
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favourites
A tarnished silver pocket watch, a packet of letters and poems and a newspaper clipping are all clues that tell the tender love story of two lovers, the unbreakable connection between a grandmother and granddaughter, the feisty friendship between two sisters, a true friendship over the oceans and the love between a father and his daughter.

The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley is one of those rare stories that wraps around you and stays with you long after you've finished reading it. The humo
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it

Compelling it's what came first to mind. Beautifully told love story evoking all my interest in a powerful irresistible way.
Enjoyed this authors writing style, her use of words, the poems, the way she invites you and introduces you with the characters. She just gives you that urge to know more. Beautifully done!

Lucky to come across this lovely novel, thanks Netgalley and Light Messages Publishing for gifting me a copy of ~The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley~
NetGalley ARC.

I rather enjoyed this sweeping, tragic romance. Told in alternate times of 1932, 1946, and 2003, you slowly get pieces of a beautiful story about a woman who fell in love with a man and became separated but were able to find each other again years later. It was a sweet, sad love story and the poems were beautiful.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Gillian Pugsley had always had a special bond with her granddaughter. They were similar in so many ways but in this story the really important similarity between them was to do with their love of words. Gilly turned to ‘words’ when, as an adult, she became an author. But even when Gilly was a small girl Gillian nurtured her with her storytelling and personal anecdotal stories. So it seemed perfectly natural that Gillian would entrust her granddaughter with her poetry and ask her to write her deb ...more
Linda Barnhart
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book drew me in because of location. Not many books set on the Isle of Man and since it also included the Great Lakes, I was hooked. A multigenerational love story with some twists and turns. The main character Gillian is quirky and puts me in mind of Anne of Green Gables. A thoroughly enjoyable book.
Kezia McKeague
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this beautifully written novel on a transatlantic flight, oblivious to everything around me. Several weeks later, I still find myself thinking about the unique and inspiring characters and the poignant scenes that will stay with me for a long time. I loved this book.
Lisa Jarnskog
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, touching story! I really enjoyed it!
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Plot: I read some other reviews and the blurb for The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, and decided this was a “must read.” When the author contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing her book, I didn’t hesitate. I loved the story. It is definitely my kind of book, containing a mix of genres – historical fiction and romance. What could be better? The book did not disappoint. There is some mystery to the story, but it is eventually brought to light. The story was, at times, exci ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was a love story told in a very different way. It was told in bits and bobs from different times of this woman's life to her granddaughter. Who is writing a book about this grandmother. You don't find out all of the truth till the end. Such a beautiful and compelling story. I loved the characters and settings so much that I felt I was right there with them. ...more
Diane W
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved it! I figured out the secret about midway through the book but it was the process of getting there that held my attention. It was a beautiful love story.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: r-first-reads
The cover of Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Ornbratt tells us it is a love story. The first chapter tells us how the love story ends. The remainder of the book gets at the reason why. Unfortunately, when the revelation does come, it is somewhat anti-climatic. The book describes the events of this love story, but somehow, the emotions and depth seem lacking. Unfortunately, the story just never quite comes together for me.

Read my complete review at:
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm completely confused as to why this book was so well received?? The love story was so under developed that, in my mind, it couldn't carry the weight of all the other plot lines. The big revelations at the end of the book were so unoriginal and undramatic that I was upset that I even bothered to finish the whole thing. If you've read other great novels in the same genre, I wouldn't bother with this one. You will be disappointed. ...more
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a sweet, lovely story of the unusual Gillian Pugsley and her life! The way the story switched the focus in Gillian's life back and forth between the years 1932, 1946 and 2003 drew me in and added to the mystery of her life. An added touch was that Gillian Pugsley spent part of her life in London Ontario, a city I know well, and in Tobermory too.The little poems to introduce each chapter were very interesting. Lovely writing. Everyone should have a grandmother like Gillian Pugsley to love yo ...more
Laura Stevens
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
the storyline of this book was good, but the facts that there were few commas and no indents for paragraphs made reading it difficult. I'd be reading about one thing and then it would change to something else without any kind of warning. A paragraph indent would have really helped. The Gillian Pugsly of this book did appeal;she was a strong woman with a loving heart and this is the story of her life. As she reaches the end of her life, she has things she'd like to share with her granddaughter; t ...more
Bonnie Judd
I rated this book with 90 pages left earlier today. The story is a good one, but it is hard to follow. I didn't imagine what Christian an Gilley looked like for instance. Reader is jumped around a lot with no warning. The story made me cry...the ending did for sure. I still can give this book only a 3-4 star rating.

I rated this book quickly with 90 pages left to read earlier today. The story line is good, made me feel and cry. However, couldn't visualize characters or places. Story also"jumped"
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
The premise intrigued me, but the overall story fell a bit flat. The nonlinear structure, probably meant to incite mystery, actually killed the conflict and tension for me. The deep POV wasn't consistent, and the action jumped around enough that I never felt connected to any of the characters. Just technically not an enjoyable read for me. ...more
The poems written by a woman dying of cancer are the impetus for her granddaughter to write a novel about her life and this is the result. As a young woman, she leaves the the young man she remembers all her life as "Mr. Right" and the question in the readers mind throughout the book is, "Why did she leave?". Engaging story involving events on 3 continents with a twist at the end. ...more
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
A love story told in bits and pieces, jumping back and forth in time, with a few "big reveals" at the end trying to tie it all together. I found it difficult to keep track of the story line as well as the multitude of secondary characters. ...more
Aug 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Good ending but workup mediocre
rated it liked it
Jun 04, 2016
Nicci Keeling
rated it liked it
Oct 18, 2015
rated it liked it
Aug 10, 2016
rated it liked it
Nov 02, 2017
Staffan Örnbratt
rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2014
rated it did not like it
Jun 13, 2017
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Crimson Corset (The Vampires of Crimson Cove Book 1)
See similar books…
Susan Örnbratt was born in London, Canada and grew up on the dance floor until her brother’s high school rowing crew needed a coxswain. Quickly, she traded in her ballet shoes for a megaphone and went on to compete in the Junior and Senior World Championships and the XIII Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A graduate from the University of Western Ontario in French and the University of Man

Related Articles

It's June, which means it's time to celebrate Pride month in honor of the LGBTQ+ community! This year, we wanted to highlight the...
258 likes · 48 comments
“...the longer she had lived away, the more she realized that nowhere became home… though everywhere had.” 11 likes
“She missed most of all the feeling of having a mother.” 8 likes
More quotes…