Good afternoon my loves!
I hope you’re having a marvellous day so far. Today’s post is one that I have been eager to share since writing it up a while ago. I get to share my review with you today of a truly exceptional book, Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin, published by Honno Press tomorrow.
* Thank you to Honno for sending me a gifted copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Title: Wild Spinning Girls
Author: Carol Lovekin
Publication date: February 20th 2020
My rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads rating: 4.5
Synopsis: If it wasn’t haunted before she came to live there, after she died, Ty’r Cwmwl made room for her ghost. She brought magic with her.
And the house, having held its breath for years, knew it. Ida Llewellyn loses her job and her parents in the space of a few weeks and, thrown completely off course, she sets out for the Welsh house her father has left her. Ty’r Cwmwl is not at all welcoming despite the fact it looks inhabited, as if someone just left..
It is being cared for as a shrine by the daughter of the last tenant. Determined to scare off her old home’s new landlord, Heather Esyllt Morgan sides with the birds who terrify Ida and plots to evict her. The two girls battle with suspicion and fear before discovering that the secrets harboured by their thoughtless parents have grown rotten with time. Their broken hearts will only mend once they cast off the house and its history, and let go of the keepsakes that they treasure like childhood dreams.
As the famous poem, written by Brain Harris in 1967 says
To be born in Wales,
Not with a silver spoon in your mouth,
But, with music in your blood
And with poetry in your soul,
Is a privilege indeed.
And what a privilege it was to read this book, set in Wales and written by a Welsh author, Wild Spinning Girls perfectly captures the beauty of the county and was a complete joy to read.
Wild Spinning Girls has one of the best portrayal of female relationships that I’ve ever read. Both between Ida and Heather, who believes the house belongs to her and between Ida and her mother. There is such depth and complexity to these relationships that I found I had to remind myself that they were fictional characters.
‘Mothers aren’t supposed to die before we’re ready to manage without them.’ Ida said.
This quote. Oh my god. This quote. I cannot begin to tell you how much of an almost primal reaction I had when I read it for the first time. I am still lucky to have both of my parents alive, but it has been and probably always will be my biggest fear – to lose them. Grief is explored in such a superb way in Wild Spinning Girls. An incredibly difficult topic to write about, with it being such a personal experience. I adored that both Ida and Heather had different ways of dealing with it, though I felt more connected with Ida’s experience of feeling almost untethered.
Wild Spinning Girls offers a visceral glimpse of humanity, a rarity in the way that is executed so expertly. The writing is lyrical and all-consuming. It left me grasping wildly for more and exhausted at the same time. Not to mention the fact that the character and place names resonated with me so deeply, as a Welsh woman.
Please read this book when it publishes tomorrow and I have no doubt that if you do, it will make itself comfortable in your favourite books of all time, and may never leave!
Peace and pages