Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, seventeen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer - a handsome, dashing brother and sister - Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.
But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?
A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson.
Laura Wood is the winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children's Writing and the author of the 'Poppy Pym' and 'Vote for Effie' middle-grade series and YA novels, A Sky Painted Gold and Under a Dancing Star.
She loves Georgette Heyer novels, Fred Astaire films, travelling to far flung places, recipe books, Jilly Cooper, poetry, cosy woollen jumpers, Edith Nesbit, crisp autumn leaves, Jack Gilbert, new stationery, sensation fiction, salted caramel, feminism, Rufus Sewell's cheek-bones, dogs, and drinking lashings of ginger beer.
A Sky Painted Gold was a joy from start to finish and exactly what I needed after seven agonising weeks in the worst reading slump I’ve ever been in.
The book follows Lou, a Cornish girl who has never known anything other than the small community she’s grown up in. When the summer of 1929 rolls in, Lou gets caught up in the lives of the Cardew siblings, who aren’t strangers to the glitz and glamour of parties not unlike those seen in The Great Gatsby. It’s about coming of age, discovering who you are, and finding out exactly what it is you want in life.
I was immediately struck by Laura Wood’s gorgeous, breath-taking prose. It can be a tricky thing to get right: I’ve read many similar YA books that lean towards pretension, yet what is so skilful about A Sky Painted Gold is that Lou’s awe at the new world she’s been invited to — and arguably, her naïveté — mean that you too get caught up in it. From the moment she enters the Cardew house, Lou’s journey is the reader’s journey, and the tone and style of the book perfectly fit her narrative voice.
I loved how the theme of being in somebody’s shadow was explored, both in the relationship of Lou and her sister, Alice, and in the glitzy world of the Cardew’s. Coupled with this, my favourite aspect (other than the romance) was undoubtedly the exploration of how one life may be ideal for someone, yet undesirable to someone else.
Most YA books feature romance in them now and so I often find it difficult to differentiate between them in my mind. A Sky Painted Gold, however, featured so many of my favourite tropes: the lingering hand hold, the “pfft! I don’t really like him!” moments, catching each other’s eyes and looking away. It was truly like watching the best period drama, which always manage to create a swoon-worthy yet sweet atmosphere, and I would like multiple spin-offs and novellas and short stories (or even a full sequel!!) because I can’t bear to let the characters go. It’s also worth nothing that, although not a major plot point, Wood manages to effortlessly incorporate LGBTQ* relationships, which I wish was seen more in historical fiction. It felt very normalised and didn’t go down the “shameful” route, which always makes me happy to see.
I’ve fallen head over heels in love with A Sky Painted Gold at a time when I was seriously questioning whether I could fall head over heels in love with a book again. Laura Wood is a new favourite UKYA author, and I really hope A Sky Painted Gold’s success reinvigorates the historical YA fiction genre.
Not just for fans of YA, but also for fans of The Great Gatsby, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and anyone who loves the will-they-won’t-they romance of Pride and Prejudice.
What a stunning surprise. This novel feels like dancing with your friends at midnight, stolen glances across a crowded room, and the warmth of a sunset pouring in through gauzy curtains.
Laura Wood immersed me in a world reminiscent of The Great Gatsby as we follow Lou, an ordinary girl who gets thrust into a world of glitz and glamour led by two siblings who seem to have it all. As she grows closer to these two generous characters, she begins to realize there’s more than the eye can see and one can easily be enamored by another’s life when viewing it through rose-colored glasses.
This addictive story is atmospheric and lyrical as it excites and amazes with the lavish parties being thrown and an array of characters with distinct personalities and motives that have you falling in love with them all.
While I wish the romance in this story had more depth and moments in general, I was still greatly engrossed and enchanted by this tale. It wrapped up a bit too easily for my liking, but I also just greatly appreciate a story with a lovely happy ending when escaping from my own reality.
For fans of the extravagant world of The Great Gatsby and the longing, angst filled historical romances of Pride and Prejudice and Bridgerton, this YA novel blew me away, made me fall in love with the Cardew siblings myself, and left me smiling, giggling, and wishing I could stay in this world forever.
I was in a bookshop, looking for a very particular book, when I found a lovely distraction.
A beautiful cover caught my eye first, and when I picked the book up I learned that it held a period romance, a big house, a coming of age and echoes of certain books that I loved. And that it was set in Cornwall in the twenties; so of course I wasn’t going to put it down again, I was going to bring the book home.
Louise – Lou – lived in small Cornish village with her parents, her elder sister Alice, who was happily getting ready to marry her childhood sweetheart and several younger siblings. She were a happy, lively and loving family, and it was lovely to look into their home and their lives. While she was delighted for her sister, and happy to share in all of the wedding preparations, Lou knew that she wanted something rather different. Because her great love was the written word; she was an avid reader and she had begun to write a novel of her own.
Literary pursuits weren’t always easy in a busy, noisy household, but Loufound sanctuary in the house and grounds of the Cardew family. They seemed to have abandoned their Cornish home, and so she told herself she was doing no real harm by eating their apples that fell from their trees, reading books from their library, and even lighting a small fire to warm her on cold days.
She was happily settled, with an enthralling novel and a small pile of apples, when brother and sister, Caitlin and Robert Cardew, returned to to spend the summer in their Cornish home. Louise panicked, but of course the evidence of her visits was undeniable. Luckily for her the siblings weren’t cross, they were amused, and pleased to find an bright and interesting young person, quite unlike anyone in their circle of friends.
They pulled Lou into their world, a world where she would drink champagne, wear elegant dresses, and attend their glamorous house parties. It was the kind world that she had read about, that she had conjured up when she wrote, but that she had never even dreamed that she would visit. She loved it, but she quickly realised that the rules there were quite unlike the world she knew, and that she would have to learn quickly and think on her feet if she was to keep up with her new friends.
Lou’s coming of age is beautifully drawn. Her relationship with her sister, who wants nothing more that to live happily with her husband in her new home, is unsettled. Her parents have the wisdom to understand that each of their children will grow to have different lives, and to give them the freedom to find their own paths. Lou loves seeing a new places and meeting new people, but she comes to understand that she must tread warily and consider carefully what is right and what is wrong.
Her story is very well told, by her in the first person. Her voice was lovely, the story flowed beautifully. It was simple, but it was profound, and the things that it had to say felt utterly right. The post-war generation is caught perfectly, the period detail was pitch perfect, and that made it so easy to be drawn onto Lou’s life.
I found it was so easy to identify with her, I loved seeing that story though her eyes, and everything that she felt, everything that she said, everything that she did rang true. That makes the story quite simple, and some of the characters rather sketchy, because Lou has little experience of life to draw upon and has much to learn. And it makes me say that this a lovely book for a young reader and a simple, undemanding pleasure for an older reader.
The setting is Cornwall, but really it could have been any small seaside community some distance from London.
The obvious influences are ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘I Capture the Castle’ and I couldn’t help feeling that Lou and I would like the same books, and that if she had published a book I would love to read it.
A mí una vez me pasó lo mismo. Claro que entonces hablaba con mi madre sobre caballos. Y nosotros nunca hemos tenido caballos. Así que no sabía por qué debía de aprender a montar.
Y ¿lo hiciste?
¿Te refieres a montar?
Claro! ¿De que otra cosa podía estar hablando?
Bueno, quizá de por qué deberías de leer esta novela. Y más cuando no sale ningún caballo en ella. Pero un madre sí. Y hasta una hermana. Y varios hermanos. Y un padre. Y una casa abandonada, con una increíble biblioteca. Y una chica que no sabe muy bien qué hacer con su vida. Y otra que sabe muy bien cómo guardar secretos. Y un chico. O varios. Aunque ellos también tienen sus secretos. Y un amor. Y fiestas. Me refiero a que bailan, beben champán y se visten de gala. Y un verano. Y un sueño dorado que empieza con un "no sé" y termina con un "voy"
Let me wax lyrical over this book, which I loved SO MUCH that I shall dub it "The Best Summery Summer Book of 2018". Honestly, it was just . . . perfect. It made incandescently happy and kinda smiley, which was odd because I'm normally a massive moody cloud.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
EDIT: 1.75 stars. it just super was not for me and left a bad taste in my mouth. After this though tell me why I still wanna read this authors other book that is a Much Ado About Nothing retelling 👀
3 stars but it could drop
This is not a bad book and I could see how people can love it. In many ways this book is just not “for me.” Historical fiction is pretty hit or miss for me, and it’s nearly always a miss when the plot is weak, and that is the case in this book. There isn’t much of an external plot, just an internal coming-of-age thing. I’m also so sick of the 1920s setting. After enjoying The Great Gatsby much less upon reread and hating the conclusion to the Diviners quartet, I’ve tried to give myself a break from the Roaring 20s setting. Also, some part of me knew this was going to have a heavier focus on the romance than I like. I picked this book up, though, because despite all this, I thought it would be for me because of how it’s been compared to classics.
This was pitched to me as The Great Gatsby meets I Capture the Castle and I can see that... but this book is a mere shadow of both of those books. It takes, in my opinion, only half of what makes these classics good and adds a romance and very typical coming-of-age plot. Specifically what I mean is this: ASPG takes the glitz and glam of Gatsby, but doesn’t recreate the dirty, lonely, messy parts of Gatsby. It tries to emphasize that the glitz is all just a mask (very heavy-handedly so might I add) for very sad people, but it misses the emptiness of Gatsby. The pointlessness of Gatsby. The aimlessness of Gatsby. The darkness. Same with I Capture the Castle; the best parts of this book is the uniquely unhealthy yet loving family (the family of ASPG is very loving and healthy and whole) and the mistakes and messiness of Cassandra (Lou has none of that, which makes her a whole lot less interesting to read about). I guess what I’m getting at is I love classics because of the grit, the bite, they have. This book took the image of classics and tried to recreate the feel of them, but failed for me, in part because it did not have this realistic bite to it. And the problem is that ~bite~ is what makes classics memorable. And so this, while not a poorly written book, was just boring and forgettable to me.
The other thing that class is have that this book is just missing is that ring of authenticity. Classics feel like they’re of the time they’re set in, because they are. A Sky Painted Gold was not that, quite obviously. And it wasn’t just the 2018 YA writing style that told on it either; it seemed to me—and take this as you have to as I study history and so this may have just jumped out to me more than someone who does not study history—that this book took the idea of a Gatsby 1920s New York and completely missed the point. First of all, this was set in Cornwall, and the author had to do a lot of legwork to get the very American Roaring 20s into a sleepy Cornish town. And the point of Gatsby is to poke at the Americanness of it, and so this just fell flat. But also this author didn’t contextualize the Roaring 20s within history, either. And I’m not saying this because there are gay people and people of color—anyone saying these people aren’t “supposed to be” in historical fiction did the purpose of “accuracy” can can it. What I mean is this book uses the glamor of the 1920s without context. The author just plucked the Roaring 20s out of its place and put it on this otherwise pretty modern story. The way Lou lives does not really feel like the 1920s. The whole point of the Roaring 20s was it is a time of great anxiety and transition and none of that was in this book. Furthermore, the author doesn’t seem aware within the story that Europe just got out of the most devastating war to date and is on the cusp of another. Furthermore, it’s 1929 and the Great Depression is about to happen by the end of this book and the book/author didn’t seem to be aware of this at all. An interracial couple goes to France to escape racism (first of all, that’s hilarious, and second of all, what??? Since when has France not been racist lol) but there seems to be little awareness on the author’s part that in 10 years, the Nazis will be occupying France. I understand that part of writing historical fiction is putting yourself in the “present” of that time and not knowing what’s coming. But the book can interact with that even as the characters don’t, and it doesn’t.
This was just really disappointing for me and I can’t really recommend it
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I really enjoyed this. It's a good fun read and conjures the historical time period quite well. I didn't completely adore the ending - it all felt a bit too neat to me - but I expect that's because it's aimed at a younger audience.
Nemám ráda Velkého Gatsbyho, fakt jsem mu nikdy nepřišla na chuť. Ale tohle? To byla pecka. Dýchá z toho jazz, alkohol a to skvělé prostředí, které jsem očekávala. Zároveň mě bavil vývoj postav, a taky samozřejmě jejich vztahů - to je koneckonců hlavní motiv. Nevím, jestli úplně romantika, ale vztahy celkově. A to já ráda. 4/5*
“Un cielo de sueños dorados” es una novela que ocurre a finales de los años veinte, al más puro estilo Gatsby. Ambienta en verano en Cornualles, Lou se prepara para asistir a la boda de su hermana mayor y mejor amiga Alice. Es una chica humilde con muchos sueños por cumplir, y a quien le gusta colarse en la casa abandonada de los Cardew. Pero un día, los propietarios deciden regresar, y a partir de ese momento, la vida de Lou cambia radicalmente. Se verá inmersa en un mundo de lujo que expandirá sus horizontes y le mostrará un abanico de posibilidades y experiencias con las que jamás se atrevió a soñar.
El libro está narrado en primera persona a través de Lou, quien nos irá situando en todos los escenarios, y con la que empatizamos desde el inicio. Adicional hay muchos personajes que la rodean en su vida, como su magnífica familia a quien por momentos deja de lado cuando las fiestas, cócteles y demás experiencias amenazan con eclipsarla; haciendo por momentos olvidarse de sí misma. Adicional a sus personajes, otro punto a favor, son las ambientaciones y las descripciones, muy bien adaptadas a la época y es tan sencillo imaginar las fiestas, decorados y vestidos.
Sin embargo, la historia va un poco más allá de solo escarcha dorada, es una historia sobre conocerse a uno mismo, probar cosas nuevas, tener el valor para aceptar lo que queremos y descubrir si queremos actuar en consecuencia o dejarnos arrastrar por los convencionalismos sociales. Es una novela, en donde se resalta la esencia de la familia y la amistad. Aunque la autora toca estos temas, por momentos los noté diluidos entre sus páginas sin llegar con la suficiente profundidad.
En definitiva, es una novela sencilla y ligera; que te muestra lo que existe más allá de nuestro horizontes. Es una novela sobre aprender, crecer y evolucionar.
“...las personas pueden ser infelices en cualquier sitio.”
This little gem of a book had me bursting with feelings and wishing myself into its pages the whole way through. It was so perfect❤️😭 Like a beautiful dream I wish I never had to wake up from. It brought me so much joy and also pulled at my heartstrings in unexpected ways. I just completely lost myself in the story and it was...AH, so lovely! Turning the last page had me in tears because I simply didn't want it to end.
Este ha sido un libro en el que el punto fuerte es la ambientación!! He disfrutado mucho con el ambiente de los años 20, una época que personalmente adoro, con las fiestas y detalles que hacía que disfrutaras mucho. Sin embargo, lo que ha hecho que no lo llegará a devorar y amar por completo, fue que me faltó algo de profundidad en la relación entre los personajes. Me hubiera gustado que hubiese habido más momentos entre ellos para creerme más la evolución de cada uno, pero el final, aunque es algo previsible, lo he adorado. La edición, además, no me puede parecer más bonito y creo que hace que desde el primer momento te metas de lleno en la época, como digo, su mayor punto fuerte. La trama es sencilla, pero se disfruta si lo que buscas es pasar un buen rato acompañado de una historia sencilla y tierna, ya que la protagonista, Lou, te despierta todo el tiempo ese sentimiento de ternura. Los hermanos Cardew también me gustaron bastante, especialmente Robert, aunque los personajes secundarios no me han acabado de encantar. Es un libro que he disfrutado, pero en este caso, he echado en falta más páginas, puesto que la ambientación tan guay lo pedía a gritos, leería el doble acerca de esta época!!
Me gustó mucho, es una historia divertida y ligera con toda esa ambientación de los años 20 y lleno de fiestas y glamour que lo vuelve muy disfrutable.
Lou vive con su numerosa familia en Cornualles imaginando cómo sería la vida de las personas de las revistas, hasta que la misteriosa mansión vuelve a ser ocupada. Por un impulso termina conociendo al dueño y así es como su vida se ve envuelta en la de la familia Cardew durante un verano inolvidable.
Mi aspecto favorito fue la ambientación, claro que recuerda al Gran Gatsby por todos los rincones, pero hay algo en la prosa que me lo recordó mucho. Ese narrador en primera persona por parte de alguien joven e ingenuo que se ve arrastrado a este mundo mientras observa todo a su alrededor con ojos llenos de asombro. Los personajes amables, demasiado amables, con los que es difícil saber si realmente lo son o si es una burla. Disfruté mucho el tono de la novela, la narración de Lou y su forma de describir todo.
La historia no tiene una trama como tal, solo este verano de ensueño que vive Lou y que ella sabe que se acabará en algún punto. Además, se mezcla con sus propios anhelos y sueños, pues no sabe quién quiere ser o qué quiere ser, entonces también hay un poco de autodescubrimiento y de encontrar la fuerza para luchar por lo que quiere.
A pesar de que hay una historia de amor, las relaciones que mueven la historia son las de Lou con Caitlin Cardew y su hermana Alice, esta lucha entre sus dos mundos colisionando. Es cierto que la amistad con Caitlin se sentía falsa, como una amistad vacía del momento por todos los secretos detrás y porque nunca compartieron realmente.
Disfruté el romance, las peleas que tenían que eran más discusiones de ingenio y sus encuentros, me gustó lo lento que fue y el desenlace. Confieso que creí que el libro tendría un final más a tono con la historia, más del tipo agridulce, pero con el que la protagonista aprende una lección. Me sorprendió un poco el final tipo Disney en el que todo salió bien. No me quejo, solo que se me hizo que quizá no pegaba tanto, aun así fue divertido.
Todo este secreto de los hermanos la verdad es que siento que quizá se alargó más de la cuenta pues lo mencionaban a cada rato y nunca daban detalles, mi mente se pasó cientos de películas distintas y cuando llegó la verdad no le hizo justicia. Sí, fue importante y todo eso, pero podrían haberlo contado antes y habernos ahorrado este supuesto misterio que acarrearon hasta el final.
Un cielo de sueños dorados es un libro corto y entretenido, con esa ambientación clásica de los años 20 y que recuerda al Gran Gatsby en el tono de su narración y la base de su estructura. Con una protagonista que se enamora del glamour de la época mientras se deja caer en una espiral de fiestas y descontrol al mismo tiempo que debe descubrir qué hacer con su vida.
Pohádka o Popelce v gatsbyovském duchu. Jakože hezký, je to fakt čistá romantika, které hraje kulisy kupa večírků zlaté mládeže. Četlo se to dobře a dost rychle, je to taková vyloženě spotřební četba, takže ty 3–4 hvězdičky si zaslouží. Kvalitativně (a i atmosférou) mi to dost připomínalo Třpytivou hodinu od Iony Grey. Až budete chtít vypnout, přečtěte si to, ale jiné knížky na seznamu knih k přečtení kvůli tomu přeskakovat nemusíte. 😉
This was a light, easy and summery read. I got into it so quickly and it was a really fast read. I enjoyed the characters, the romance and the extravagance of London’s elite featured in this book. I’ve only read one other book by this author in the past but I’ve found both so far to be the perfect YA historical romance palate cleanser. Her writing conveys the setting so well and the story was so easy to get into. I just added a couple more Laura Wood books to my TBR!
Me la he pasado muy bien leyéndolo. Tiene mucha similitud en ambiente con El gran Gatsby, es cierto. También es bastante más light, debo decir. Pero la historia si que me ha gustado y mucho. Sencilla y entretenida, a la vez un poco demoledora como todas estas novelas sobre el paso a la adultez. Debo confesar que el final me sorprendió. Sin ese último capítulo, por mi ya estaba muy bien.
I can't not say this. As soon as I hear historical fiction, I think "boring stuff from years and years ago with stuffy characters and.. too much historical facts mentioned". I can't help it! School gave me this aversion when it comes to history and it has obviously sneaked into my reading preferences as well. In saying that, though, I have to admit all those things did not bother me one bit. I even dare say there isn't even mention of one big historical event in A Sky Painted Gold. For some people this is probably a "well, doh, not all his fics are like that"-type of thing, but to me it was.. enlightening?
One thing I expected, I also got and loved: beautifully descriptive writing. That is one thing I adore in books and I guess it's one of those things a historical book needs in my opinion?
Let's talk characters and content! Our main character, Louise, is a writer and a romantic at heart. Since the entire book is written from her POV, I was so happy to feel connected to her. I understood her passion, understood her curiosity and was all too eager to see where she would end up and how she'd experience the glamorous life of "the elite". As for Caitlin and Robert? Definitely was intrigued right from the bat. She obviously struggles with past events and he had this mysterious air throughout the entire book. Loved it!
Content-wise, I definitely had some The Great Gatsby-vibes at times. The three quotes from that book throughout A Sky Painted Gold probably helped that along as well, but still. The whole "huge house in the distance"-thing with a wealthy family, a lot of secrets.. It just gave me those vibes, you know? Also the parties! The drinks! The descriptions! Oh, and there's also mention of how people looked at colored skin back then - which I thought was a lovely addition, to be honest. Could've been a bit more pronounced, but still. I'm glad it was there and acknowledged.
There's only one tiny issue I had - and once more, it's related to that specific topic I'm known to mention. Alcohol. One of the character is dealing with a lot, is obviously drinking way too much and way too often. Yet, again, it isn't really.. taken care off by the end of the book? I wish it was addressed at some point. That would've made this book perfect.
Overall I definitely enjoyed my dip-of-the-toes into historical fiction! I loved the descriptive writing, the slow-burn romance, the intrigue. Everything! Well, except for that one thing.
Don’t let the Cinderella-thing going on at first turn you off. This is not a mere rags-to-riches story where the super rich hero has swept the poor heroine off her feet to shower her with jewels.
The heroine is quite naive but thankfully not stupid. She is just pleased about everything. She also likes Agatha Christie’s cozy murders so I instantly felt a kinship to her.
I love how the heroine has truly grown in the story. A book I highly recommend to a teen who is feeling a little lost. I also appreciate that there is no female cattiness. The ladies in this book are all supportive of each other. The romance didn’t take over the story and there is no insta-love. The only thing I didn’t like is that the main conflict can be easily resolved if they just talk about it, but I guess there is no story without the misunderstanding.
Oh and I can’t help but laugh when the characters are dancing. I know it’s supposed to be glamorous and romantic but I can’t get this gif out of my head.
Bon, il est temps d'écrire un avis un peu plus constructif. Je sais pas si ce livre mérite vraiment 5 étoiles, mais je lui mets quand même parce qu'il m'a transportée. Je l'ai en deux nuits d'été en tombant dans le monde Lou, ce monde fait de langueur, de fêtes et d'émancipation. J'ai ressenti profondément cette fébrilité qui peut nous prendre quand nous assistons à un événement tels que ceux de Lou, et ça m'a fait du bien de revivre ces émotions. J'adore ce personnage qui veut vivre en grand, ne pas se cantonner à une vie simple mais qui culpabilise aussi de ne pas pouvoir ne limiter à ce bonheur. Robert a aussi gagné mon petit cœur, j'ai adoré leur relation, leurs humours, sa prévenance, vraiment parfait 💜 La romance arrive assez tard mais j'ai trouvé qu'elle était très très bien amenée.
Certaines choses sont certes faciles, mais si vous vous laissez embarquer, vous aurez vraiment l'impression de tomber dans un doux rêve.
“I want to experience things that are bigger than my own life, not just read about them.”
A Sky Painted Gold was such a beautiful, sparkling story. With a lyrical writing style, the author describes vividly this dazzling world and explores the relationships between the characters masterfully. I loved reading about Lou, how she had to figure out who she was and what she wanted from life. You can't help but identify with her. I also loved her relationship with her family, and her friendship with Caitlin and Robert. Last but not least, the slow-burn romance was beautifully developed and I ended the reading with a smile on my face. Totally recommend this little gem.
En general me ha gustado mucho, me ha enganchado todo esto de los vestidos, las fiestas... pero sobre todo la intriga que se palpa en el ambiente en todo momento, secretos que se irán desvelando y que me dejaron muy sorprendida. Con una narrativa sencilla, pero descriptiva en su justa medida Laura Wood nos presenta un mundo pasado fascinante lleno de detalles y una historia que atrapa y enreda, no podía soltarlo.
A Sky Painted Gold focuses on 17-year old Lou during one summer as she struggles to figure out what her next steps in life are. Lou's older sister, Alice, has just gotten married and this has made Lou feel like her life needs to get started -- but she's not sure what exactly she wants her life to look like. She ends up getting swept into the lives of the rich and mysterious Cardews, who own a manor house on a small island near Lou's hometown.
The Golden Age time period of A Sky Painted Gold was just one of many things that I really enjoyed about this book. Wood nails the excitement and wistfulness that I tend to associate with F. Scott Fitzgerald. The writing in this book was beautifully effortless. I could easily read huge chunks in one sitting without feeling like any time had passed at all.
Lou's confusion over what she wants out of life and the choices this confusion leads her to make were incredibly relatable. Lou as a whole was such a likable main character for me but her fear over what to do with her future was my favorite thing about her. The other side characters were great as well, particularly Lou's large family. I have a particular weakness for Robert, who's serious nature and sarcastic comments are exactly what I love in a romantic interest. Speaking of romance, this book really delivered on the feels. I enjoyed the story as a whole but the romance was so well done that it absolutely influenced my feelings on A Sky Painted Gold for the better.
If you like historical fiction, romance, or just a well-written coming of age story, I would highly recommend A Sky Painted Gold.
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood was a dream to read 🥰 It had the family dynamics and romance of a Jane Austen novel, the setting and outsider's perspective of the Great Gatsby except Lou is no Nick Carraway, she's a go getter determined to see, feel and live more. This book is luxurious and honest.
Lou is from a big, loving family who live on a farm but she can't resist the allure of the magnificent, empty Cardew house across the causeway. She sneaks off to the unoccupied house to read in the library by the fire, eat apples from the orchard and imagine the elegant lives of the Cardew family. Everything changes when Robert & Caitlin Cardew return and befriend their apple thief. Lou is swept up into their beautiful world; the parties, the romance and something tragic lurking beneath the facade.
I'm not usually one for romances but loved everything about this book. Cornwall, Cardews and complicated love lifes. What more could I ask for? Reading A Sky Painted Gold was like curling my toes in the sand by the sea in the summer and then sneaking into the big fancy house you always wondered about and discovering it's just as beautiful as you imagined.