Thank you to Two Roads Books, part of Hatchette UK and Readers First for the opportunity to read and review the latest book by Ruth Hogan before publication day (1st April 2021 in the UK). Here is a mini review about why I enjoyed it.
Madame Burova – Tarot Reader, Palmist and Clairvoyant is retiring and leaving her booth on the Brighton seafront after fifty years.
Imelda Burova has spent a lifetime keeping other people’s secrets and her silence has come at a price. She has seen the lovers and the liars, the angels and the devils, the dreamers and the fools. Her cards had unmasked them all and her cards never lied. But Madame Burova is weary of other people’s lives, their ghosts from the past and other people’s secrets, she needs rest and a little piece of life for herself. Before that, however, she has to fulfill a promise made a long time ago. She holds two brown envelopes in her hand, and she has to deliver them.
In London, it is time for another woman to make a fresh start. Billie has lost her university job, her marriage, and her place in the world when she discovers something that leaves her very identity in question. Determined to find answers, she must follow a trail which might just lead right to Madame Burova’s door.
In a story spanning over fifty years, Ruth Hogan conjures a magical world of 1970s holiday camps and seaside entertainers, eccentrics, heroes and villains, the lost and the found. Young people, with their lives before them, make choices which echo down the years. And a wall of death rider is part of a love story which will last through time.
I read The Keeper of Lost Things a couple of years ago (or maybe even longer ago) and loved it, so when the first chapters of this book appeared on Readers First, I decided to read them. Then I quickly traded in some of my points, I knew I didn’t want to risk missing the opportunity to continue reading the story as soon as possible.
Imelda and Billie are linked by an event from many years ago, and we slowly find out how as the story follows both of them. This was a book I escaped into, as we moved backwards and forwards between the 1970s and the modern day. There are a large cast of characters, brought to life by the magical storytelling of Ruth Hogan.
The Larkins Holiday park features heavily in this story, with a mixture of staff and entertainment staff, plus local Brighton residents. Who will help Billie find the answers she is looking for? Will Imelda find out the truth?
I enjoyed this book, using my day off to escape virtually to Brighton whilst resting after my first Covid 19 vaccination. If you enjoyed The Keeper of Lost Things, then I believe you will enjoy this book too.
Author Bio (from Amazon):
I was brought up in a house full of books, and grew up with an unsurprising passion for reading and writing. I also loved (and still do) dogs and ponies, seaside piers (particularly the Palace Pier in Brighton) snow globes and cemeteries. And potatoes. So of course, I was going to be a vet, show jumper, or gravedigger. Or potato farmer.
Or maybe a writer…
I studied English and Drama at Goldsmiths College, University of London where I hennaed my hair, wore dungarees, had aspirations to be the fourth member of Bananarama and generally had an amazing time. And then I got a proper job. For ten years I had a successful if uninspiring career in local government before a car accident left me unable to work full-time and was the kick up the butt I needed to start writing seriously.
It was all going well, but then in 2012 I got cancer, which was bloody inconvenient but precipitated an exciting hair journey from bald to a peroxide blonde Annie Lennox crop. When chemo kept me up all night I passed the time writing and the eventual result was THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS, my bestselling debut novel, which was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Since then I have had two further novels published, THE WISDOM OF SALLY RED SHOES and QUEENIE MALONE’S PARADISE HOTEL and for my fourth, MADAME BUROVA, I learnt to read Tarot cards and developed a hankering for a traditional vardo and pony.
I live in a chaotic Victorian house with an assortment of rescue dogs and my long-suffering husband. I am a magpie; always collecting treasures (or ‘junk’ depending on your point of view), a huge John Betjeman fan and I would very much like a full-size galloping horses carousel in my back garden.
As a full-time author I am living the dream, and I’m so grateful to all my readers for making that possible. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to drop me a line on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.