Author: Polly Crosby
Publisher: Park Row
Released: December 7, 2021
Received: Blog Tour/NetGalley
It isn’t every day that I sit down and decide to read a historical fiction novel (though I seem to have read more in 2021 than in any other year…), so I like to make it an occasion when I do. The Women of Pearl Island, by Polly Crosby, is a beautiful novel designed to tug at our hearts. And that is exactly what I was looking for.
Marianne lives on a remote island off the British coast – and she is in need of a personal assistant. Enter Tartelin; she’s taken the job posting, even though she doesn’t quite know what she’s getting into.
Now Marianne must decide how much of her family’s story to tell Tartelin and how much to keep to herself. Yet even keeping secrets quiet won’t banish them from her mind, much as she wishes they would just…flutter away.
“The darkness that stretches away from me is not threatening. It buffers me from the rest of the world.”
The Women of Pearl Island is a deeply personal, compelling, and emotional read. The way Polly Crosby portrays her characters makes them feel like real humans telling their stories. In that sense, it can be utterly heartbreaking at times – and inspiring at others.
This novel unfolds slowly, never feeling the need to rush readers to the ultimate point. I cherished the causal way the story unfolded, as even that felt comforting again like I was really listening to Marianne’s tales as she began to trust me (when in truth, it is Tartelin she trusts).
Much of Marianne’s history is steeped in WWII, so if this is a subject you’d rather avoid (for any reason), please do consider yourself warned. There are darker moments hidden within the soothing words, but again, that read as very human to me.
Thanks to Park Row and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.