Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Girl in Red Velvet by Margaret James - Five Stars. Book Review.


Will loving two men tear your heart apart?
It’s the 1960s and Lily Denham is about to begin her studies at Oxford University.
On her first day she meets Harry Gale and Max Farley, two fellow undergraduates who are both full of mischievous charm. The three of them become firm great friends and enjoy exploring everything Oxford has to offer, from riotous parties to punting up the river on sunny afternoons.
However, something threatens to disrupt the fun, because Lily soon realises she’s falling for both of her new-found friends, men who might offer her two very different futures  – but who will she pick? Harry is generous and kind, reliable and trustworthy. Max embodies the spirit of the sixties; adventurous and rebellious, but possibly a little bit dangerous as well.
As university ends and Lily struggles to make her mark on the vibrant fashion scene, she must make a decision. But she soon becomes aware that the wrong decision could have devastating consequences for her own future and for Max’s and Harry’s futures, too … 
Girl in Red Velvet is book 6 in the Charton Minster Series (The Silver LocketThe Golden ChainThe Penny BangleThe Wedding Diary & Magic Sometimes Happens)

My review:

Author Margaret James has such a great writing track record that I could expect nothing less from her except a 5 star book! And she hasn't disappointed with "Girl in  Red Velvet. Her "writing voice" (if I can say that) is so soothing, even when the plot is taking a surprising turn. And the plot is full of such turns. Take the beginning, for instance, when Lily does a runner at her own wedding, leaving the reader to wonder who she's supposed to be marrying and why doesn't she want to, such a brilliant cliffhanger that keeps the reader guessing for a good part of the book.

Ms James also manages to convey Max's bold, adventurous spirit without resorting to piles of adjectives. His character is amazing, as is feisty Lily's whose journey from a frightened girl on her first day at Oxford to that of a mature, take-no-prisoners, woman is smoothly transitioned. Harry's quieter ways prove a perfect foil. The author has a way with words that evoke images of the story in the reader's mind, and makes the characters real.

If you lived in the sixties, you'll be reminded of life at that time and how undergraduates lived  (I'd forgotten all about Wimpeys), and the foreign lands that Max finds himself are so well researched and portrayed. 

This is no mere "chic-lit". Ms James takes light literary fiction several steps further and goes deeper (there are three main characters, remember) and produces a story that will keep the reader on his/her toes right to the end.