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A Carpet of Purple Flowers by Tracey-anne McCartney
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it was amazing

"The veil between the worlds is thin"

This is a most entrancing and captivating story. Bea, as the central character, weathers every emotional storm you can imagine, and as we get to know her, we feel for her plight, and one is torn on her behalf as she herself is torn, between two men, two identities, two realms of reality.

Bea is living a fairly ordinary life, running a small, somewhat esoteric, bookshop in London, left to her by her much-missed uncle. Into her somewhat muted existence burst beings from another realm, and why they are so interested in her gradually becomes apparent.

Tracey-anne McCartney introduces us to a richly-detailed and dramatic cosmology drawn from Irish folktales, mythology, and magic, and it is by virtue of this age-old relationship between the world of the Sidhe and that of humans that we find ourselves drawn in most strongly. It is the skilful, often humorous, blend of supernatural and spiritual elements with that of ordinary life; the hopes and disappointments of the ordinary person, as experienced by Bea, which makes this novel so charming, and makes us experience Bea’s emotional maelstrom as our own. We want the best for her, even if deciding what that may be seems near impossible.

The final scene in Coldfall Woods is magnificently achieved, and the writing overall has the right balance of lyricism and restraint, and is peppered with moments of levity when appropriate. The narration allows one not only to viscerally experience the events described, but also to be privy to the internal life of the principal characters, sensing their doubts, their confusion, their pain and joy – Bea's in particular.

The finale does not give up all the secrets hinted at during the novel. Who exactly is Jonathan? What does Bea’s future hold? And other questions, which I will not pose here for fear of spoiling the many surprises and revelations this artfully-plotted novel offers us en route.

A Carpet of Purple Flowers is an original, entertaining, and sophisticated blend of romance, the paranormal, and the spiritual.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 15, 2017 – Shelved

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