Linda Gillard is one of my favourite authors. I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of books by her, only yesterday I reviewed House of Silence.
My favourite book by her is A Lifetime Burning. Unfortunately it wasn’t supported very well by the publisher (my only real problem with it was the awful cover which you can see further down the page), and was eventually dropped. Now Linda has decided to re-release the book herself as an e-book, with a beautiful new cover which much better reflects what the novel is about.
It has been re-released today and will only cost you 88p from Amazon. I thoroughly recommend it, and for 88p how can you say no?!
Need more convincing? Here’s my original review
Synopsis (from Amazon)
Greedy for experience but determined to be good, Flora Dunbar spends a lifetime seeking love, trying to build a future out of the wreckage of her past – an eccentric childhood spent in the shadow of her musical twin, Rory; early marriage to Hugh, a clergyman twice her age; motherhood, which brings her Theo, the son she cannot love; middle-age, when she finds brief happiness in a scandalous affair with her nephew, Colin.
“If you asked my sister-in-law why she hated me, she’d say it was because I seduced her precious firstborn then tossed him onto the sizeable scrap-heap marked Flora’s ex-lovers. But she’d be lying. That isn’t why Grace hated me. Ask my brother Rory…”
First off I suppose I should warn you that A Lifetime Burning is very different from Linda Gillard’s other books, Emotional Geology and Star Gazing. Although if speaking in loose terms you could say they are all about love. Although I really enjoyed the other two books they aren’t my usual style (as far as love stories go they are far superior to chick-lit books, and the writing is thoughtful and rather beautiful). A Lifetime Burning is more like something I would pick up. Actually having said that if I hadn’t previously known Gillard’s work I probably wouldn’t have looked at it in a book shop because of that front cover. The cover is actually the worst part of the book! It’s so unrepresentative, makes the book look like sci-fi rather than a story about ‘real’ life.
Character wise I didn’t really like Flora, who was the narrator. I found her selfish, and self centred. She didn’t really seem to care about anyone [highlight for spoiler]not even Rory really, she just wanted him for herself, no matter what. Rory was a little better, he at least seemed to show some care for others. My favourite character was Grace though, she stuck with her husband, and his family no matter what- I guess that could be seen as being a pushover but I saw her as more resilient, and forgiving. I did find it a little unbelievable after a point [spoiler]the idea of there being a whole two generations of children being involved in incest, plus 2 people from 2 generations previously. but then I changed my mind [spoiler]and decided that maybe it was meant to be genetic, Theo himself says as much. In a way that makes the subject less disturbing, like it was always going to be that way.
Such a shame this is no longer being published (my copy came from Linda Gillard herself). I think it could do well given the right marketing.