Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Far Cry From The Turquoise Room by Kate Rigby


Far Cry From The Turquoise Room by Kate Rigby
Self published in November 2011.

One of my 2018 IndieAthon Reads
One of my 2018 Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge reads

Where to buy this book:

Add Far Cry From The Turquoise Room to your Goodreads

How I got this book:
Received a review copy via Rachel's Random Resources

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Told from both daughter and father's perspectives, Far Cry From The Turquoise Room is a coming-of-age, riches-to-rags tale of loss, resilience, and self-discovery, set just before the millennium. It is also about the passage of childhood into puberty.

Leila is the eight-year-old daughter of Hassan Nassiri, a wealthy Iranian property owner, and younger sister to the adored Fayruz, her father's favourite daughter. 

But a holiday narrowboat tragedy has far-reaching consequences for the surviving family. Hassan withdraws into reclusive grief, when he’s not escaping into work, or high jinks with his men friends at his second home in Hampstead, leaving Leila to fend for herself in a lonely world of nannies, chess and star-gazing.

Leila eventually runs away from home and joins a family of travellers in Sussex, and so follows a tale of adventure, danger and romance – and further anguish for her surviving family. But how will she fare at such a young age and will her family ever find her?


I enjoyed the dual viewpoint aspect of this novella which allows us to see the story unfold from both Leila's and her father, Hassan's, perspectives as they take chapters to speak directly to the reader. Their switching from speaking about themselves in a mix of first and third person did take a bit of getting used to, but it begins to feel more natural as the story progresses. Their reactions to a traumatic event within the family send them onto very different paths and it is this divergence that provides the narrative arc.

I felt I could understand Leila's journey more easily. She comes across as a mature child and her luck in meeting people prevents her from falling too far through society's cracks. Hassan's dark introversion makes him a more difficult character to empathise with, especially as we don't get to know him very well within the space confines of such a short book.

Overall, I felt that Far Cry From The Turquoise Room needed to be a longer story in order to better show Leila and Hassan's emotional journeys as well as their physical travels. I liked the tale, but many issues are briefly raised and then not fully explored. I wanted deeper insights.

Meet the author:

Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England.  She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way, although she has long term health conditions. Having been traditionally published, small press published and she is now indie published.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated.

However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011). Hard Workers is to republished for a third time - in an anthology called ‘Condoms & Hot Tubs Don’t Mix’ - an anthology of Sexcapades - which is due to be published by Beating Windward Press in the US in February 2018.  It is her shortest ever story and yet the most popular in that sense!  All proceeds will go towards planned parenthood.

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

Author links: 
Website ~ BlogGoodreadsFacebook ~ Pinterest




Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Kate Rigby / Contemporary fiction / Books from England

14 comments:

  1. Many thanks for your thoughts, Stephanie. The Nassiri family do appear in my book 'Seaview Terrace' too if you wanted to read more about them :) But it's not a prequel. I wrote Seaview Terrace several years before - it's in a different time frame and different location and they are just some of the many characters who live in Seaview Terrace though Hassan's arrival causes a bit of a stir!

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    1. I will take a look :)
      Thank you for visiting today!

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  2. How interesting, I don't think I've ever seen a book w/ dual POV of father and daughter, but that's such a good idea to really show the different perspectives, how a tragedy would affect both, how their behavior might affect each other, etc. I think the switching 3rd and 1st would bother me though.

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    1. The POVs add quite a unique dynamic to the story.

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  3. Glad to hear you enjoy this one even though it left you wanting more to better understand what Hassan and Leila went through!

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    1. I prefer a book to leave me wanting to read more than to overstay its welcome!

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  4. That's exactly what I prefer, Stephanie! I learned this from my mum used to read a lot of lit fiction and passed on that love to me. She also said you should always get up from a meal wanting more! I did actually write a blog once on 'endings' because I have been told before that mine are rather sudden and abrupt. But the ambiguous endings are intentional! I'm glad you appreciate that kind of ending too :)

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    1. Abrupt now-buy-the-next-in-the-series endings annoy me immensely, but I do like an ambiguous ending that makes me think

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    2. Haha, yes, I know those buy-my-next-book endings. I don't usually write sequels but there seems to be a lot of demand for them. I am writing one at the moment for another book of mine but when I wrote it over 20 years ago I had no intention of writing a follow up. But new developments in the characters lives evolved in my mind in the intervening years.

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    3. That must be interesting to revisit characters after such a long time?

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    4. Yes. Some of the characters always come first and then they sort of demand to be written about. And then sometimes something suddenly comes to me about their lives so many years on. Yes 20 years is quite a long gap but then that book was released after 2010 so it wouldn't be such a long gap for readers.

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  5. Sounds good! Too bad it was short then, huh.

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    1. I could happily have stayed with this family for longer :-)

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