Over the years I think I must have read hundreds perhaps thousands of books, yet at no time have I felt that I should offer comment or review one. To me they were either good or bad. However a few weeks ago my Kindle disappeared from its usual place only to be later found in my wife’s possession. Intrigued by this event I questioned her as to the reason for the theft. She told me that she needed it to read a book recommended by a friend and having downloaded it could not put it down. Anyway that night I re-borrowed my Kindle and opened it on the page my wife had been reading and curious read a page or two.To my surprise I found that I was instantly captivated by the story. Consequently I returned to the start of the book and began to read it all. Now that in itself is nothing major. What was significant at least for me was the genre. For I freely admit that I have never been a fan of romantic fiction. Indeed my favourite works are principally historical swords, sails and shooting saga’s about as far removed from ‘Starfish’ as you could imagine.
However the author’s ability to draw the reader into the story was quite extraordinary and her ability to craft characters and a weave a plot was such that I found myself completely absorbed. Not only sympathising with, but also actually caring about what happened to the skilfully constructed characters.
The author, Jennie Orbell, also possesses a particular talent for painting intricate scenes that are vividly brought to life by her literary skills, creating such a feast for the senses the reader can almost smell the tang of salt air, feel the icy sting of cold sea winds and hear the crackle of log fires. The author also expertly brewed a sizable portion of sexual tension that simmered away on gas mark one throughout which mixed an unbreakable thread of humour served to captivate and amuse this reader and breathe yet more life into the already well-drawn characters.
I must reiterate that I have never reviewed a book before, nor may not again. However in the case of Jennie Orbell’s work ‘Starfish’ I feel I must award a well-deserved five stars and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for an excellent read, even those like me who had never previously explored the genre. I award this rating not only for the quality of the work the author has produced but also for her ability to convert a lifelong romantic cynic into someone who now believes. For that Ms Orbell I thank you.
I have since returned the Kindle to my wife, and as some form of compensation have also downloaded another of the authors works ‘Mulligans Reach’. Though somehow I fear that should my wife leave the Kindle unattended again it may well go missing… At least for a while.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!, 2 Mar 2014
I loved this book. The characters are regular human beings who have been put into difficult situations and it was easy to sympathise with some and wish for bad things to happen to one or two others! The author weaves a brilliant tale and when you think you’ve worked out what’s going to happen, there’s another surprise just around the corner. This is a proper page turner that kept me awake when I really should have been sleeping. I liked the heroine (Livvy) a lot and it would be great to see more stories involving her. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a modern day romance that will keep them guessing until the end.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read!, 10 Oct 2012
What a beautiful story. When I started reading Starfish it happily occurred to me that I had found an author who would carry on from my much loved, and sorely missed Maeve Binchy. It very quickly became apparent that Jennie Orbell will never need to carry on from any other author. Her own style puts her right in front with the best of them.
Livvy Mallen, emotionally broken and deeply physically hurt, believing that she is the one that is at fault, because of one of those vile abusive men that unfortunately really are out there, finds her way back to normality and to a perfect love.
I loved feeling all the emotions in this book. Humour, angst, and the warm, comforting day to day things of life are woven cleverly together, and draw you in completely. I could hear the Christmas carols on the radio, smell the New Years feast and see the cliffs and sea rushing in. I felt Livvy’s terror as the disgusting William returns to hurt her again. I especially loved feisty Molly and Martha, and Jules the camp hairstylist. I suggest you read Starfish, meet them yourself, and grow fond of them as I did.
A perfectly crafted book. I don’t say it lightly, when I say that Jennie Orbell is clearly one of those rare finds, an author, and a master of her craft. You would have to be both illiterate and completely lack imagination not to love this story from the first word to the last.
If I were to recommend only one book this year, this is it.
A delightful read, very easy to get wrapped up in the story. The author has produced well drawn out and diverse characters. The plot chugs along with layers of incidents and you find yourself wanting to know what happens next. The setting by the sea is very atmospheric, the house’s proximity to the cliffs adding that extra dimension of danger.The final section of the book has so many things happening and ties up all the characters plot lines very neatly. All in all an easy relaxing read to unwind in the afternoon,evening or just right for those sunny days at the beach.
Couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter and the next….couldn’t wait to get to the end to see what happened….and yet…. couldn’t bear it to finish either, great characters, great story, light, entertaining and thoughly enjoyable, more please.