Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Ninepins by Rosy Thornton

Title: Ninepins
Author: Rosy Thornton
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Sandstone Press
Publish Date: April 19, 2012
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You like good characters.
  • You like great, understated writing.
What's the Story?:

From "Deep in the Cambridgeshire fens, Laura is living alone with her 12-year old daughter Beth, in the old tollhouse known as Ninepins. She's in the habit of renting out the pumphouse, once a fen drainage station, to students, but this year she's been persuaded to take in 17-year-old Willow, a care-leaver with a dubious past, on the recommendation of her social worker, Vince. Is Willow dangerous or just vulnerable? It's possible she was once guilty of arson; her mother's hippy life is gradually revealed as something more sinister; and Beth is in trouble at school and out of it. Laura's carefully ordered world seems to be getting out of control. With the tension of a thriller, NINEPINS explores the idea of family, and the volatile and changing relationships between mothers and daughters, in a landscape that is beautiful but - as they all discover - perilous."

My Two Cents:

This will be the second book that I've read by Rosy Thornton. What I loved about Tapestry of Love is the same things that I loved in her latest release, Ninepins. Thornton has a wonderful way of making you care deeply about the characters. They quickly begin to feel like people that you could know and that you care about.

The main characters of Ninepins are all great. You feel for Willow because of her life, which leaves much to be desired. She basically had to mother herself because her mother was too mentally ill to really give her stability. I love stories about flawed characters. None of us are perfect and I think it makes characters easier to relate to. Willow is definitely a character that you will find yourself pulling for. Her story was definitely the most gripping in the book although I did like the other story lines as well.

You feel for Laura because she's beginning to contend with probably the most difficult part in any parents life: when their kids begin to get to the age where they want to grow up way too fast and do things that are going to get them into trouble. Laura is conflicted whether to let Beth figure out things on her own or to try to shield her from the bad things. You feel for Beth because she's going through the time period that so many pre-teens go through where all they want is to fit in, which, of course, comes at a price. All of the issues that the characters deal with are very realistic and you can connect with them on some level.

I loved this story. At its base, it's really a story about love and relationships. Thornton draws you in, makes you love the characters, and then leads you through the story with her fantastic writing. In a way, Thornton's writing is sort of understated but beautiful.

Bottom line: This is a great story with great characters.



  1. I have not seen this book before, it sounds interesting. Willow sounds like a great character to read about.


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