Monday, December 3, 2018

#GIVEAWAY Review The Songbird + a personal message from author Marcia Willett

The Songbird is the first novel I've read by Marcia Willett and believe me it won't be the last, this articulate master storyteller's latest novel is simply amazing. And an added bonus for a cover lover like me are her beautiful book covers.
Marcia has included a short note to my readers about Autumn in Devon where her story takes place and where she hangs her hat. 
Plus Marcia's publisher St. Martin's Press is sponsoring a giveaway, details below.

ISBN-13: 9781250177414
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 12-4-2018
Source: Publisher for review
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/ Kobo/ IndieBound



From the beloved author of A Week in Winter and The Sea Garden, The Songbird is a heartwarming novel about family, yearning, and whether love can bloom where old secrets are buried.

When Tim confides in Mattie that he needs a sabbatical from work and a fresh place to live, she suggests he move into one of the cottages at her family's home in the beautiful English countryside. She senses there's something he's not telling her, but she has faith that he'll fit right in with the eccentric but affectionate crowd at Brockscombe.

As he gets to know the warm jumble of family who share their lives, Tim discovers that everyone there has their secrets. There's Kat, a retired ballet dancer who longs to take the stage again; Charlotte, a young navy wife struggling to bring up her son while her husband is at sea; and William, who has tried hard to get over his estranged wife—though it's much harder now that she's trying to move into the cottage Tim just occupied. And, even when she's far away, Tim knows there's Mattie...beautiful, engaging, clever Mattie. Can Tim open up to her? Would it matter, he wonders, if he did?

Marcia Willett, the master of the charming country novel, once again weaves the stories of her vibrant, lovable characters into this heartwarming read

Giveaway is for one print copy US ONLY
of The Songbird
Please use Rafflecopter form to enter
Good Luck!

A Message from Marcia:

Autumn in Devon

St Luke’s little summer: those few magical weeks following the equinoctial gales that bluster in from the western approaches, battering the last frail summer blossoms, wrenching damaged branches from unprotected trees. There is a special kind of peace that follows this first wild heralding of winter; a sense of waiting. This is not the expectant longing of the countryside as it waits for spring to burst out of the frozen, sealed-in earth. This is a quiet, contented waiting: the satisfaction of something completed and the prospect of a well-earned winter’s rest.

Down on the storm-battered coast, the placid sea rests gently against the shore; its surface, smooth and shiny as silk, is wrinkled occasionally by a fitful breeze. Black-backed gulls, driven inland by the gales, are once again following a fishing boat, and I can hear their yarking, raucous cries echoing back from steep cliffs and rocky coves. The beaches are empty now; sand and shingle
deserted by the holiday-makers. I wander at the high-tide line, followed by my elderly Labrador who pants along with a piece of drift-wood clamped between his jaws. Two fishermen sit at the water’s edge in companionable silence, watching their lines, the afternoon sun on their backs.

In the deep twisting lanes the air is warm and still. Along the hedgerow I see a late crown of faded honeysuckle looping amongst the spiny twigs of the blackthorn, and a few wild roses trailing fragile tissue-paper petals. The lush green canopy of summer has faded and shaded into yellow and brown and red. Leaves, crisping into old age, swirl and twirl in a sudden gust of wind; the beech randomly giving away its gold. I watch the starlings swoop low across stubbly fields, flying upwards in a great cloud, only to fall again, diving through the clear blue air, sleek and graceful as a shoal of fish. Inquisitive heifers barge and trample at the farm gate as I approach whilst beyond them, on the hill above the valley, a tractor moves slowly; the newly-turned crimson earth glistening under the plough.

Driving home across the high moors, I see that the rusting stands of bracken are damaged, broken down by the storms, but hawthorn berries burn on the twisted branches of ancient trees and gorse is still flowering: ‘When gorse is in flower, kissing’s in season’. Amongst the brittle cages of the heather, tiny spiders fling out silky tents and go tight-roping it across the delicate threads in search of prey. A small knot of ponies clatter from behind a rocky outcrop and gallop down the steep slope towards the sheep-cropped turf that edges the river where curling mists rise and drift above the water like smoke.

 Autumn is full of colour. The flame of a beechwood; the flare of a bonfire; the glow of a grinning pumpkin at Hallowe’en. The sun rises later, sets earlier, plunging down in a fiery display, to be extinguished in the molten sea.

A sudden shift of air; a hint of frost. Time for me to go indoors, light the log fire and make hot buttered toast.

© Marcia Willett

My Review:

The Songbird
Marcia Willett

Willett’s latest Brit-Lit is simply divine, a study in human nature, a comedy and a tragedy full of secrets, regrets and new beginnings. The Queen’s English is refreshingly proper and although there will be some googling certain terms have no fear US readers you will enjoy it immensely. The wide-range of personalities are fascinating varying from nurturer to narcissist and everyone is an absolute necessary part of the tale. The author does a bang up job of capturing every emotion while cleverly uncovering all the mysteries bringing to life the bucolic English countryside, the inhabitants and their stories. The pseudo family unit that these very different people become is the real stand out in this story.

When Tim is diagnosed with a potentially fatal degenerative disease he quits his London publishing job only telling his workmates that he’s decided to take a sabbatical in the country. When his friend and coworker Mattie hears this she knows exactly where he should go and tells him about her family’s Devon country estate called Brockscombe and the empty cottage on the grounds that would suit him perfectly. Plus it would keep him close so she can learn what’s really going on with him.
Little did Tim know that he’d be moving in to his own little group of soap opera players complete with villains, heroes and a prima donna or two but strangely enough it’s home.

My Thanks to St. Martin's Press fora copy of
The Songbird in exchange for an honest review

Other Novels by Marcia

About the author:
The Songbird is MARCIA WILLETT's eighteenth novel to be published in the U.S. Her novels are available in seventeen countries around the world. She lives in Devon, England.
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  1. Great review Debbie and thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Thanks for this captivating and beautiful story which I would enjoy greatly. Marcia's novels are unforgettable and special.

  3. Sounds like a great story. Great review, Debbie.

  4. I have read a book or two by Marcia W and did enjoy them very much, this one looks great.

    1. it was Kathryn and I can see you enjoying this kind of read

  5. This sounds like one I would enjoy, but not right now. I am craving escapism.

    1. this is more realism than escapism but who know you may be able to escape with it!