We were talking the other day about books we were particularly looking forward to reading, and here's one that falls into that category. Jane Rusbridge's second novel Rook flew in yesterday, and having been very impressed by Jane's first book The Devil's Music (I wrote about it here), I've been keenly anticipating the new one. Here's the gist:
"Nora has come home to the Sussex coast where, every dawn, she runs along the creek path to the sea. In the half-light, fragments of cello music crash around in her mind, but she casts them out - it's more than a year since she performed in public. There are memories she must banish in order to survive: a charismatic teacher with gold-flecked eyes, a mistake she cannot unmake. At home her mother Ada is waiting: a fragile, bitter woman who distils for herself a glamorous past as she smokes French cigarettes in her unkempt garden.
In the village of Bosham the future is invading. A charming young documentary maker has arrived to shoot a film about King Cnut and his cherished but illegitimate daughter, whose body is buried under the flagstones of the local church. As Jonny disturbs the fabric of the village, digging up tales of ancient battles and burials, the threads lead back to home, and Ada and Nora find themselves face to face with the shameful secrets they had so carefully buried.
One day, Nora finds a half-dead fledgling in a ditch. She brings him home and, over the hot summer months, cradles Rook back to life.
A mesmerising story of family, legacy and turning back the tides, Rook beautifully evokes the shifting Sussex sands, and the rich seam of history lying just beneath them."
This book is another addition to the 'to be read soon' pile, given Jane's obvious talent and the blurb quoted above, and crucially it's also passed 'the Harriet test', that is, when my younger daughter casts her critical eye over new arrivals and gives a quick appraisal (and one with which I'm usually in full agreement) along the lines of "that looks really good/worth reading" or conversely, "who on earth sent you that?"!