Book Review for February 2021

Book Review for February 2021

I only have one book review for February 2021 because there was only one book this month that really caught my attention. However, this literary mystery had me hooked.

The Rosary Garden by Nicola White

On the surface this is a police procedural. Detective Inspector Vincent Swan and Detective Sergeant Gina Considine investigate the murder of a three-day-old baby found in a garden shed at a private convent school in Dublin. However, like A Famished Heart, the first book in this excellent series, this novel is really a piece of quality literary fiction.

As well as chapters from Swan’s point of view, we hear from Ali, one of the two girls who found the child. This is a coming-of-age story for her as she strives to find her way as a young woman in a world that frowns on her wish for independence. She also revisits a secret from her family’s past that leads to a tragedy in the present.

The story is a reminder that 1950s attitudes to women, contraception and childbirth were alive and well in 1984, when this novel is set. (And, let’s face it, they’ve still not gone away in some quarters…) Even our trusty detectives are products of their times and they subject Ali to obscene scrutiny.

Quality writing and rounded characters. I look forward to the next in the series.

By Rachel Sargeant

Rachel Sargeant is a British author. Her latest thriller, The Roommates, is a Closer Magazine "Must Read". Her other titles are The Good Teacher, The Perfect Neighbours and Gallipoli: Year of Love and Duty. Rachel won Writing Magazine’s Crime Short Story competition and has been shortlisted in various competitions including the Bristol Short Story Prize. She was born in Lincolnshire and is a graduate of Aberystwyth University. She now lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and children.

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