Not the End by Kate Vane
Published in February 2014.
One of my Top Ten Books for IndiePrideDay 2016.
Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
How I got this book:
Received a copy from the author in return for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'There’s a summer heatwave in Dormouth, the Devon seaside town and former home of the artist Hugh Bonnington. No one pays much attention to octogenarian sea swimmer Maud Smith, recently arrived from Portugal. But when she drowns and her body is washed up on the beach, she changes the lives of three people she never met. Brenda, insomniac dog walker, finds Maud’s body and loses a husband. Jim, reluctant heir hunter and committed birdwatcher, thinks he’s found love, if he can only escape London. Philosopher-drunk Neil, the cemetery manager, plans Maud’s funeral then finds that art has a funny way of interfering with life. With wry humour and sharp observation, Not the End is a contemporary novel about love, loss and the therapeutic possibilities of knitting.'
Although the focus of Literary Flits is world literature, I am also trying to include occasional books written by authors from our new home county of Devon. Kate Vane is one such author.
Not The End is set in a generic coastal Devon town which is an amalgam of such seaside resorts. At the time of reading I had not been to that part of the world since childhood holidays, but could easily picture the scenes thanks to Kate Vane's atmospheric descriptions. We follow the experiences of a trio of strangers whose lives intersect following the discovery on the beach by one, Brenda, of an elderly woman who drowned.
I loved Vane's creation of her characters. Each of the leads are very real, as are their friends, co-workers and families. It is not easy to maintain strong characters with such a large cast of faces to keep track of, but Vane does a great job. Even in chapters where it could be a page or more before significant names are mentioned, I found I always knew whose story I was reading. Brenda's story is particularly poignant and I was willing her to stand up to the ghastly Paula. I also liked Teri as I could picture someone with whom I have worked who was just like that!
There is a lot of gentle humour in Not The End and some wonderfully witty digs too. Vane's sharp observations of people's behaviour raised several giggles from me. The confidence of the weatherman was one such instance and I would love to know which real cafe the wonderfully child-UNfriendly one is based on. Wicked of me to say so, but it sounds like just our sort of place! I enjoyed the time I spent in Dormouth and would be happy to return there should a second novel be written.
Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Kate Vane / Humour and satire / Books from England
And now for the Giveaway!
Not The End by Kate Vane Giveaway
The Giveaway is open worldwide but please make sure you can use an Amazon gift card! Entries must be submitted through the Gleam widget by midnight (UK time) on the 21st September and I will randomly pick a winner on the 22nd. The winner can choose from which Amazon site they would like their gift card - I think I can buy this from any of the international sites as long as I can understand the instruction language! If the winner does not respond within 7 days, they will forfeit the prize.
This Giveaway is listed in the Beck Valley Books Giveaway And Sweeps Linkup