The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey

Beautifully written. If you like historical novels set in Medieval times, atmospheric description, interesting characters, deep meditations on faith and the meaning of life and an intriguing story… this is for you.

It was impulse buy; you know how it’s hard to resist buying the chocolate bar by the till? well, I’m the same with books… I’m the gullible dream customer who goes in for something specific and grabs the latest recommendation sitting invitingly by the check out. Pathetic, really. The thing is… I haven’t been disappointed by doing this yet so… I keep going…

(One of these days I’ll show you the stupid pile of books waiting to be read by my bed. There are probably doctors for this kind of disease!)

This is what the blurb at the back says:

Intriguing, eh?

Anyway, this one was a splendid read. Intriguing set up too, basically the book starts on day 4: we meet the characters and start getting to know their personalities and the place where they live – nature is a huge part in the book. Then each subsequent chapter is an ‘earlier’ day… day 3 and then 2 and then 1… At first it’s a little confusing because we get explanations for things we’d already had about and made up our mind of only to be corrected if you wish… but it keeps you on your toes and it stops you from thinking ‘oh yeah I bet it was him, or I bet this is what happened’. You’re both paying total attention and are immerse in the story (the writing is so good) because if you miss a little it gets confusing when you will read after what did happened before (still with me?) and at the same time you’re kind of hovering above it all because … you don’t know the ‘before’ yet. It’s a very intriguing writing device.

I really liked the flawed main character, his thoughts, his attitude, his human frailty. And I loved the description of the land and how important the people connection to it, and how inextricably linked everything was to the weather and the passing of the seasons…( was at the time (15th Century).

It reminded me a little to the CJ Sanson’s Shardlake’s books, which if you like historical novels are a total MUST read.

I highly recommend it. (although in the interest of honesty… I got a little confused at the end… never mind, I still enjoyed it very much!)

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