The Quilt, Unravelled is a journey with several different threads. I personally do not like, and would not be able to write a candyfloss novel, the type of book that is easy to read for a few pages, predictable from the first couple of paragraphs, takes a day to finish and when it is read you will walk away with a sweet taste in the mouth but unmoved.
This story will appeal to a wide cross section of readers. It follows a family seeking closure, in essence The Quilt, Unravelled is a saga but it is also a tangled romance born through the tragedy of its characters.
Set in beautiful New Zealand the two main characters, Paul Clarke and Joanne Kyle, begin their story miles apart both geographically and socially. In fact, they don’t meet until a good way into the book. By then, the reader will know them so well that their attraction is filled with significance.
Both have experienced tragedy and pain. The Clarke family are haunted by an unsolved disappearance, addiction and violence and the cycle threatens to repeat itself in Paul’s own unhappy marriage. In contrast, attorney, Joanne Kyle’s life seems, at least on the surface to be blessed with privilege and success. In reality it is emotionally bleak, until even the superficial gloss collapses and she is left with almost nothing.
The most powerful part of the novel involves Joanne’s relationship with Sandy, a wild, independent school friend whose carefree life is abruptly turned upside down. Their friendship is compelling and the painful journey they share is emotional and real. Sandy is the catalyst who transforms the lives of those around her; but she is also a frightened, angry human struggling to deal with the harsh cards she’s been dealt. Her battle with breast cancer and subsequent suicide form the emotional core of the story.
Amid the tragedy there are plenty of likable characters, acts of kindness and a simmering love story between the two main characters. The Quilt paints a rich, portrait of farming life, the history of Twin Pines Station, an iconic high country property and the beach fringed island vineyards of Waiheke Island.
The journey of the Clarke family, the practical details of farming, vineyards and restaurants all form part of an heirloom quilt. This novel exposes the very best and worst of human nature and explores the diversity of the New Zealand landscape.
“The above description contains references to a review by Author Dylan Horrocks”.
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