Karen has been so very supportive to me during my writing journey, so I naturally wanted to support her in return by taking part in the blog tour for her debut novel and thank her and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to be part of her tour.
About the book
It’s 1981 and the Thorpe family – Robert, Sandra and their eleven-year-old daughter Louise – decide to move from the city of Lincoln to a village seven miles away. Moving into New Barnham, they must each find their place in a village where they know no-one and Louise has to start at a big new secondary school.
The cul-de-sac they move into has eight semi-detached houses. Behind each front door live people with their own lives, their own stories to tell. Soon the whole of Whitlock Close will become involved in each other’s lives, each other’s stories.
The village has its own events too and besides the households of Whitlock Close, we find out about the book club and the Village Twinning Committee, while Louise joins the City Gymnastics Club for her own adventures.
In a Close which has all types of people, and all ages from four years old to a man in his nineties, it is understandable that all kinds of emotions will be found here. From young love to the loneliness of widowhood, from temptation and addiction to fun and friendship, we find everything here in Whitlock Close.
And lots of dogs and cats.
What did I think?
I really enjoyed my visit to Whitlock Close along with a trip down nostalgia lane. It brought back so many fond memories of life and of growing up in the 80s and made me ponder on how very different life was then to now – in a life without technology and social media and some of the names thrown in of celebrities and TV shows that I’d forgotten all about really made me smile. Nothing better than a book that makes you smile in my opinion.
The characters were well formed, the setting believable and both extremely relatable. A small estate is such a great base for a book, so many different characters and quirks from the neighbours as they go about their lives made it such an entertaining read. And let’s face it, what book lover doesn’t love a book club in the book they’re reading.
Racism was touched upon in a way that made me realise again how times have changed for the better. School in the 80s was so spot on, this was exactly the time when I was at high school and it really did take me back to my classroom years in such a good way.
This was a really enjoyable nostalgic read and as the first in a series, it will be interesting to watch the series develop.
About the author
Karen Louise Hollis was born in Lincoln in 1969 and was brought up in a house full of notebooks and typewriters, with both her parents being journalists.
Her first self-published book was a poetry collection in 2003. Un-Conventional: 13 Years of Meeting the Stars of Doctor Who was published by Hirst Books in 2010 and subsequently republished by Lulu. Her biography of the actor Anthony Ainley was published by Fantom Publishing in 2015 and is available in hardback, paperback and audio CD.
She lives in Lincoln with her mother, her son and her cat and enjoys writing, reading, sewing, politics, history and watching gymnastics. This is her first novel.
Check out the other reviews from bloggers taking part in the rest of Karen’s tour and I wish her the very best of luck with this book and her onwards writing journey.