Margaret's Reviews > The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Ornbratt
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it was amazing
bookshelves: arc, kindle, net-galley, 2015, new-authors-2015

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 exotic -- all those spices! Canada sounded, well... wild.

With such a great setting my expectations rose somewhat. I really hate putting pressure like that on any author, beautiful setting must equal beautiful story, right?.

Did Susan Ornbratt rise to the occasion? Of course she did, The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley was an absolute pleasure to read! The authors writing style made it extremely easy to get lost in this story. Told in various time periods this reader had no problem connecting with Gillian. First introduced when she is 89 years old (2003), then she takes us back to 1931 and then 1946. Gillian is such a likeable character, she is adventurous, open minded and genuine. First she is a nanny for a family from India, then off to the wilds of Canada. Her relationship with her sister and father was played out nicely, the bantering between them added much to this story. I loved the strong bond between Gillian and her granddaughter, Gilly (who is tasked with writing her story) was the finishing touch this story needed.

The plot was intriguing, kept me on my toes. There is much going on here, a beautiful love story, mystery, trauma of WW II and more. With vivid descriptive prose it wasn't hard to picture scenery and the added poems was a unique idea and enhanced this story nicely. While the story weaves back and forth in time, as well as alternating POV's it wasn't hard to get totally invested in this book.

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.

This is Susan Ornbratt's debut, reminiscent of Kate Morton and Susanna Kearsley, I highly recommend.

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Reading Progress

April 12, 2015 – Shelved
April 12, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
April 12, 2015 – Shelved as: arc
April 12, 2015 – Shelved as: kindle
April 12, 2015 – Shelved as: net-galley
April 17, 2015 – Started Reading
April 17, 2015 – 0.0% "14% of the way through and really enjoying it."
April 20, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015
April 20, 2015 – Shelved as: new-authors-2015
April 20, 2015 – Finished Reading

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Susan Örnbratt Thank you for the wonderful review!

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