Monday, 22 September 2014

The Emerald Comb by Kathleen McGurl

What They Say:

One afternoon, Katie takes a drive to visit Kingsley House, the family home of her ancestors, the St Clairs. She falls in love the minute she sees it. It may be old and in desperate need of modernisation, but it is her link to the past and, having researched her family tree extensively, she feels a sense of belonging to the crumbling old estate.
When it suddenly comes up for sale, she cannot resist persuading her family to sell up and buy it, never telling them the truth of their connection with it. But soon the past collides with the present, as the house begins to reveal the secrets it has hidden for generations.
Does Katie really want to discover what she has come from?
What I Say:
I would like to thank author Kathleeen McGurl for sending me a link to the via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. 
I would also like to thank Becca from Beccasbooooks for tweeting about this book and making me want to read it and also Leah from GirlsLoveToRead for passing on my email to Kath.
Oh where do I start, I love the cover it is gorgeous, I love the green dress although I personally would of liked to see the comb in the ladies hair....
We first meet Katie as she is going to see Kingsley House where her ancestors lived, she meets a lovely couple that are now living there, they also tell her they have plans to sell the house as it's getting too much for them. Katie comes away in love with the house but not thinking anything of the couple plans to sell up.  
Weeks later Katie and Simon are talking about moving, they see the house for sale but Simons doesn't hold with the history stuff Katie does, does she tell him it's her ancestors house or keep it secret?
I loved how the story mixes with the past, the past being told in a series of letters from Bartholomew St Clair to his son Barty.  
This is a wonderful mix between the 19th Century and 21 Century.  I didn't understand why this was classed as a time slip novel, but really it's the best way to describe it.  The chapters switched seemlessly between the centuries, leaving me desperately wanting to find out more.
I can't say I liked Bartholomew or Agnes as their actions had serious consequences which they eventually suffered for later in life.  This also would come back to haunt Katie as well.
I really felt sorry for Georgia as she was young and niave, she was let down by her uncle who just wanted her married and off his hands.  Used by Bartholomew who only wanted her money and used by Agnes who wanted her husband, they were the ones who were meant to care about her but badly let her down.
I really like Katie, as like me she has a love for her ancestors and ancestry. She loved her family and tried to do the best by them, but she also wanted to find out her family history.  Simon her husband couldn't understand this as he was adopted and never wanted to know further than his close family.
Simon however I found annoying and even though he was under strain, (his mums dementia and finding out that he had a 21 year old daughter) at times I really wanted to slap him.
The mysteries within the book held me captivated chapter after chapter, especially the 19th Century ones that were revealed in the 21st Century, it just goes to show how much do you really know about your ancestors apart from their names. What secrets they hide and keep? 
There is so much more to this story but to say anymore would ruin it.  An edge of your seat read, that is a page turner and griped me from page one.

About the Author

Kathleen McGurl is a writer of short stories, novels and how-to-write books. She lives by the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and teen son 2. Teen son 1 is away at university. When not writing she is either working at the day-job (IT for a large retail organisation) or running along the Bournemouth prom, slowly.
She has sold dozens of stories to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Her how-to-write books and a romantic novella are available as ebooks from Amazon and her first full-length novel The Emerald Comb will be published by Carina UK on 22nd September 2014.
Find me on Twitter as @KathMcGurl

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