Judy Collins's Reviews > The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Ornbratt
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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 reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s lain hidden for generations.

Set in the 1930s, free spirited, independent, and adventurous Gillian Pugsley (Gilly) leaves Ireland for London to live with her sister, Beaty. She becomes a nanny to Shashi and Samir, the children of Indian royalty at the Wentworth Estates. The family and the children fall in love with her and extend her tenure by inviting her to return with them to India. She is excited, the adventurous girl, wanting to capture life to the fullest. However, her father does not wish for her to join them and sends her to live with relatives in Canada.

While in Canada, at age eighteen, Gilly meets Christian, a romantic love relationship of two young people for one memorable magical summer. When she abruptly returns to Ireland, she leaves behind only a letter. Through the war and storms of life, Christian never forgets his Gilly, nor does Gilly forget her first love.

Presently in 2003, Gillian is eighty-nine years old, and dying of cancer. She has decided it is time to share her story with her granddaughter, her name sake, the writer. Flashing back to 1931 when Gillian was seventeen, far from home in Ireland, visiting her sister Beaty, in London, England, dreaming of Mr. Right, to 1932 when she meets Christian in Canada.

Flashing back and forth from 1932 to 1946 when Christian travels across the ocean determined to find Gilly-- He longs for answers, to know she is happy. Why did she leave? So much has happened through these years apart. They are different people. His long lost love, after fourteen years, including a Depression and a World War, he is desperate to find her.

When they finally meet again, could it be too late to recapture their lost time, or will there bond be even stronger? There was a reason she left but she could not tell Christian, she wanted to protect him; which becomes a mystery throughout the book and only unveiled toward the end, as all the pieces of puzzle come together.

A poignant love story of not only the romance between of Christian and Gilly; expanding to the magnetic friendship between mentor Gillian and young Shashi from afar through powerful letters and words of the heart —two women from vastly different cultures appreciating similar interests; and the loving close family relationship between Gilly and her granddaughter.

Inspired by the author’s own grandmother’s writings and gift of poems, given to her similar to the fictional account of the novel, for a captivating, and bittersweet story. You will find yourself bookmarking numerous pages; from the charming keepsakes, telegrams, beautiful poems, and letters, reminiscent of a simpler time.

Would encourage readers to view The Book Trailer , nicely done, a great intro to this spellbinding tale. A cross between authors, Jo Jo Moyes, Kate Morton, Nicholas Sparks, and Kristin Hannah. Fans of historical, literary, romance, suspense, mystery, and women’s fiction are assured to fall in love with this special love story and characters you will not soon forget.

An exceptional debut! One of the best historical fiction and romance novels of the year, and predict a "bestseller". Looking forward to more from this exciting newfound author, Susan Ornbratt.

Judith D. Collins Must Read Books
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Reading Progress

January 23, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
January 23, 2015 – Shelved
February 6, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015-new-releases
February 6, 2015 – Shelved as: netgalley-arc
February 11, 2015 – Started Reading
February 11, 2015 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
February 11, 2015 – Shelved as: romance
February 11, 2015 – Shelved as: mystery
February 11, 2015 – Shelved as: multi-generational
February 12, 2015 –
page 50
14.79% "Beautifully written"
February 12, 2015 –
page 75
February 13, 2015 –
page 125
February 14, 2015 –
page 200
February 14, 2015 –
page 250
February 14, 2015 –
page 250
73.96% "Trying to savor this one - a love story"
February 14, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
February 17, 2015 – Shelved as: womens-fiction
February 17, 2015 – Shelved as: romantic-suspense
February 17, 2015 – Shelved as: books-read-in-2015
February 17, 2015 – Shelved as: susan-ornbratt
February 17, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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Light Messages Publishing So glad you enjoyed it! Don't you wish you could sit down for tea with Gillian?

Judy Collins Ah, it was breathtaking, and words cannot even begin to describe this masterpiece! I want a grandmother like this. What a powerful story. Thank you for the opportunity to read. I loved the book trailer- a stunning presentation. Congrats! Is the author on twitter, as could not locate her?

ReadAlongWithSue Sounds like a beautiful story Judy and you did awesome with the review

Judy Collins Thanks Sue! You will love it, as one of my favorites.

message 5: by Carole (new) - added it

Carole Nice review, Judy. Sounds like a very good historical fiction/romance novel. I'll add it to my list!

Judy Collins I think it one of the most beautiful stories.

Susan Örnbratt This review has meant so much to me. Thank you for this!

Judy Collins Susan, Much deserved, as not often you run across a book you completely fall in love with! Thank you for sharing.. Judy

ReadAlongWithSue Just got this Judy from her PA

message 10: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy Collins It was so good! Can't wait for your thought...

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